Friday, July 1, 2016

Time to say "The End"

I have started to find sites to move all the posts from this blog into a book for the kids.  When I started right around 9 years ago, I never would have thought I could have made it to 601 posts.  But when this book has started to be reassembled, I have looked back into those first few posts many times.  This was a great tool to let my kids have a view into life during a time they would never remember, or ever know about from inside my mind.  Unfortunately, when this becomes a book for them, I do lose the template of the blog, comments, and the direct link to things like videos, but I'm going to keep all of my posts in the book.  Every silly survey I filled out, every picture I posted, every happy or sad thought I cataloged.

Life has become ever so more busy than when I first started.  Even over the past two years, which was my last post.  I am about to have a teenager, which scares me, and a few years later, a second teenager, which scares me even more.  But I have had so much help as was chronicled by this blog and in a way, it is a great tribute to them as well.  To the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends that have helped and continue to help us raise our kids, Thank you.  I am so thankful for all we have already experienced and all the things we will experience in the coming years.

This is by no means the end of our journey, but it must be the end of my chronicles.

To our children, if you made it through all the pages in this book, well done and thank you!  We will always love you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My final post?

I'm not sure if this will be my final post or not.  I would not like to go out on such a somber note, but I know I haven't had and will not have a lot of free time in the near future.  There is absolutely no way I could let the day pass without marking it in this sort of "journal" in my life.  I am not gifted with words.  I simply write what I'm thinking.  To my knowledge, I do have a gift with numbers.  In doing tribute to a wonderful woman that has had a significant impact in my life, I feel as though I can only express myself clearly using the numbers that mean so much to me.

My second mother - she was someone that took care of us kids when my parents were out of town.
8 weeks - the time that separated the birth of her daughter and my birth - I'd like to think that it is what helped bring my mom and her closer together.
18 years today marks the death of my grandmother, and her mother.
36 years, 4 months, 18 days was the amount of time we got to share this earth together.
2 1/2 hours is the amount of time it takes to travel from our house to hers.  It is the ever exciting, happy memory producing place, we call Hatfield.
2 daughters - my cousins and as close as I can get to saying I had sisters.
Many titles she held - Mom, Yaya, Auntie, Boss of the Beach, Luso, the list goes on and on.
1092 + 50 for double blank = the total number of points available in the beloved game of Dominoes
Two by Two by Two - Guts - she always had it and could bluff you out of your mind to take your $5.
2 years - her battle with cancer
12 hours - the time we have had to process that she is no longer on this earth with us.

Countless times I have heard her laugh in my mind
Countless times I will think of her when we visit our Happy Place

And the list could go on and on.  But this is the place where I will stop and remember her.  The good memories.  The laughing memories.  To my cousins and my uncle, you will forever be in my prayers and thoughts as you go through this difficult transition.  We love you all so very much.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Time for some reminiscing

Yes, it has been a while.  Honestly, I think I'm going to have to close down the blog around the end of the year.  I would love to have the time and dedication I once had, but that does not look like it is going to happen any time soon.  However, I do want to finish out the year, to end on a good spot.  I will have to do a few more posts about previous events over the last two months or so, but for now, since it is the correct time, I will do my best to talk about our wonderful Mr. T.

I cannot believe he will now be in double digits.  Yes, teenage years are another momentous occasion, but I remember well moving into that double digit age range and how much older I felt.  Currently, having a son in the same double digit, it still makes me feel older, but not in the same way.

Reflecting over the past year, it really amazes me how your own kids change over the course of 12 months.  I think I was expecting it to be a gradual change at some point.  And maybe that is yet to come as they become more independent, wanting to spend more time with their friends or at activities and such.  But because he isn't there yet, I have loved to watch him grow up.  And yes, part of that is literally to grow up.  He will have another check in under a month, but until then, I would guess he grew another 2 inches or so over the past year.  He is now wearing the same size shoe as me.  His frame is much thinner, as a result, he is really feeling cold now that the temperature has turned.  Oh, how I remember that feeling too.

As far as the other aspects of growing up, it has been interesting to see how social aspects of school and outside of school have really taken shape as well.  He has this wonderful carefree attitude, if he is in a comfortable, safe setting.  I know he is worried about someone asking him what he is doing, but I know he is very capable of answering those questions too.  This week, the school ran a fundraiser at Chipolte, and I had a large sign made advertising the event.  Someone suggested that maybe one of my kids would be willing to stand outside during parent drop off on Monday and then possibly go on the morning news program to talk about it.  I thought Trevor would enjoy doing it, and he said he would do so.  The night before, I think he was second-guessing himself - also I'm sure wondering what his friends would think of him doing it - but I ran through what it was all about so he could talk intelligently about it.  So I went to school early with him just to make sure it all was ok.  Gwen and I hung out inside and watched him do his thing.  He was SO in his element.  This is one of his friends that came to talk to him about it.  For a while he was dancing around doing his attention-grabbing Trevor thing that he does.  And then after the first bell rang, we walked over to the morning news rehearsal.  He did not have a script, but was able to practice what he wanted to say.  I watched him while he was on the news and while he may have stumbled over a few of his words, he had SUCH confidence.  He was so in his element.  He is a natural public speaker.  Can you tell I was a proud mom?  All I hope for him is to find out if it is something he recognizes as his strength.  When I talk to him about it, he thinks he gets stage fright and doesn't always want to do it.  But when he does do it, he has such a light from within.

His relationship with his sister is one that has also taken a great leap over the past year.  Yes, they still fight, but they are learning the rules of fighting.  In that if they want the fighting to stop, one of them has to walk away, rather than continuing the argument.  But Trevor has recognized the value of another playmate, especially one that worships you.  Legos are the common play right now, but there also is variation to school, military, or Ninjago directly.

This morning, I told Trevor that Gwen and I had a talk about him bringing his cookies for a treat for his class.  She had said that there were quite a few classmates where the older sibling brought one of their class treats for the younger sibling in her class.  So she thought that Trevor should also bring her one.  Problem with that, is that she did not do the same thing in return when it was her birthday.  So I told her, I will ask Trevor, but that it was his choice, because she did not bring one to him for her birthday.  Sure enough, as soon as I talked to Trevor about it, he said right away, he would give her one.  And when I picked the kids up from school today, he was very proud of the fact that he did give one to her, and she was EXTREMELY appreciative, even saying, "Trevor, this is the last time, I promise, that I will thank you.  Thank you SO much!  I really appreciated that delicious cookie that you gave me" Because she had already thanked him 4 times previously.

His enjoyment of reading has also kicked up a notch.  He is finally reading books that are longer than 150 pages.  His current series is Eragon.  Now, he still gravitates towards nintendo or computer games, but he also has already read the first book, which I believe was over 500 pages.  So I will consider that a win.  I don't expect him to always pick a book over nintendo, but it is nice to know that it is an option that is out there.

Finally, I will say that he is starting to understand that there is a world outside of high school.  I was talking to him about it tonight, and I do know that it is pretty immature at this point.  I'm not expecting him to be able to picture his life at, say, 20 years old.  Because when I do ask him to think about it, he seems a little scared at the fact that I won't be with him to watch out for him.  We are still at the stage of testing boundaries and finding out what happens when you make a bad decision.  So right now he thinks that he needs to have a roommate in college so that he can get that person to do part of what he is expected to do.  Laundry and the dishes for example.  He also wants to get married early so that his wife can help him do his chores and such.  See a pattern?  I would say right now, he isn't ready to let me go.  And that is a good place to be, because I am not ready for that either.  But in the mean time, I will always enjoy all our conversations.  From what he did at school, to the things he and his friends do, to answering questions he has about what I remember when I was his age.

I love you buddy.  I hope your double digits are spectacular and I can't wait to see what they hold for you.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Her birthday week...and the end of baseball

As has been the case for most of Trevor's almost 10 years of life, we make a big deal of birthdays in this family.  So no, Gwen didn't have a good birth-day. She had a great birth-week.  It started off prior to her actual birthday with her "friend" party.  Due to other extended family members having a nearby birthday, we decided to go a weekend earlier than her birthday.  It seemed to work wonderfully.  It had been a few years since I have been at a place that puts on birthdays for you, and I will say it was spectacular.  We did a gymnastics party, and everyone there had a great time.  I ordered an extra 30 minutes in the gym, and didn't even spend the whole 30 minutes in the party room, so they got even a few more minutes at the end.  I couldn't believe the girls had that much energy and didn't collapse!

We were at baseball the next day and she couldn't wait to tell everyone about her friend party...because she also knew she had two more parties to come.  She wanted to be able to tell everyone that she was 6 after that Saturday, and I think she did, but she also knew that she really didn't turn 6 until the the afternoon as Trevor had to point out again and again.

So on the 3rd, she went to school to celebrate it there as well.  She brought Hostess cupcakes for her treat.  She was very excited.  She was able to stay at the after school program and get some extra treatment as well.  We had both kids school conferences that afternoon so before we picked them up, we got an earful about how well both kids are doing in their classes.  Gwen actually gets to split time between all three first grade teachers because of her reading and math ability.  I have heard nothing but great things about all three first grade teachers so I'm happy about it all!

We picked up the kids to go to Benihana for her "real" birthday dinner that evening.  We brought our gifts and she unwrapped them and got her big picks for the next Lego Friends stuff.  And yes, that was what had to be put together right away, as soon as possible.  Add another 1000 pieces put together by my hands.  She can do it entirely by herself, but she gets sidetracked by the new characters.  I wonder how many of those things she has now.  My guess would be approaching 30 now.  However, I feel like my kids each have their things.  For Trevor, it has been Pixar's Cars characters, with a few Ninjago characters.....although that show is done.  For Gwen it has been a little bit of princesses with a lot more Lego Friends stuff.  And now that the Lego Friends stuff are both boys and girls, they have taken over inhabiting the Princess castles and such.  So at least that princess stuff is sticking around.

And last but not least, she had her family birthday party on Saturday.  We were missing a few key players in said family, but we hope to see them soon.  With only consideration of our family, it was tough enough to find a day when something wasn't going on that would have conflicted with this day.  But the day too was filled with fun times and good food and wonderful presents for the birthday girl.  At the close of that day, was the close of her birthday week.

So today was the last day of Fall baseball for Trevor.  Today Gwen was again talking about her birthday party the day before, but this time it was her family party.  And through it all Trevor did his best to grin and bear it.  I feel like I have to have the same talk with him every year about how it will be his "turn" soon enough and actually this year, he made an effort to help her on her actual birthday.  On this last day of fall baseball, Trevor had good games.  He did well both batting and pitching.  Hopefully he got a chance to get a little bit better, but for now, it will be good to put it away for a few more months.  I explained to him tonight that it was up to him if he wanted to find time to go to a batting cage or something similar.  And the fact that today was the first day of hockey tryouts was the signal that we are gearing up for hockey as well.

It was a great year 5, but now on to year 6!  Happy Birthday Week Gwen!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

In the groove

Well, here we are, second full week of school and I'm beginning to feel like I know what it is like to have two kids in school full time.  It is a whole other world.  I can run errands for more than one consecutive hour.  Granted, that isn't my idea of fun, but now I don't have to split it into multiple days if I don't want to.  I'm trying not to over-schedule myself with volunteer work and such, but I just can't seem to stop.  Library, envelopes, fundraiser stuff....and the classroom helpers haven't even been contacted yet.  Yes, we are still in the baseball/hockey overlap timing, but that will be done soon enough.  I'm needing to get ready for a big birthday coming up.

As far as the kids go, we have had a pretty smooth week.  Only hiccup was that Trevor got a nasty cold on Sunday night.  I thought he wasn't going to go to school in the morning, but seriously both of my kids make me feel like I'm running a psych ward the nights that they are battling the start of colds.  Gwen started her nighttime screams on Monday night, a day later and Trevor was at least down to moaning.  Although there have been some bumpy mornings and afternoons, it does feel like nothing is a surprise to the kids.  We leave the house whether the kids have everything they need or not.  We do as much as we can the night before.

Gwen has had a few school lunches now, and she still seems a bit puzzled by it.  Especially so by the fact that there are two main choices, but whatever your choice, you still get the same side dishes.  And yes, she has admitted to eating very little for lunch and come home starving, but I think this next month, she will know a lot more about the food she does like to eat at school.  I just hope it doesn't turn into bringing her own lunch 100% of the time.  She has one "homework" activity every night which is to read or be read to for a total of 20 minutes.  We were having a hard time finding something that she was interested in that could keep her interest (because of the length of the book) for more than 3 minutes, so I decided to bring out the magic tree house series.  Well, that was a major hit.  We are on book 6 in the series.  I know she is a ways off from wanting to read those kinds of books by herself, but I'm happy to have found a good bunch of books that I know will help her get through her reading time here at home.  She has started to have some math homework as well, and seems to be grumbling about doing her homework instead of being able to play with her toys.  She isn't as into screens as Trevor is, but I'm still trying to teach her the same habits of homework before playtime.  We got a call from her teacher after last week's school to see if there was any concerns on our part.  No she seemed to be loving school.  And her teacher thought that Gwen was doing a great job too.  Our conferences are scheduled for both kids on Gwen's birthday, so it will be a great place to put together the kids' goals for the rest of the school year.

Trevor seems to be gliding through his new year as well.  We had a hiccup as Trevor is known to do from time to time, but thankfully no real continual issues, so far.  I'm trying to maintain his independence on things that he needs to do for school and piano and such.  It is hard to not know if he is doing the work appropriately, but judging that is for his teachers.  I do not need to get in the way.  I'm thankful to have started our homework meetings again, so I can at least talk to him about newsletters and things we are getting communication about to see if there is anything I can help him with.

All in all, the house is getting cleaner and more organized, and I'm helping out a lot more with the school projects.  This is shaping up to be a great school year for everyone.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The First Day of School

I have to say, I enjoy Facebook on days like these.  It was filled with friends and family posting their pictures of the kids on their first day of school.  I, of course, added to our yearly ritual as well.  Thankfully, I'm not getting groans from the kids yet, but I'm sure they are coming.

Last week was our last hurrah.  We went to the state fair, ate lots of food, went to back-to-school night to drop off school supplies, Trevor forgot his, baseball practice then headed out to the lake for the only time all summer our family of four was there.  Thankfully, thankfully, THANKFULLY we got gorgeous weather both Friday and Saturday we were there.  We were able to be lazy and gradually enjoy waking up and walking around, and then the four of us went on a boat ride for the afternoon.  The kids stopped and jumped into the lake at three spots, and since the lake has not gotten rain for a while, the algae had started to bloom.  It is a river/creek fed man-made lake, so at least it doesn't have completely still water, but it was still bad on shorelines.  Saturday, we got to say happy birthday to a very fun girl, and visit with my cousins kids.  Again, THANKFULLY the weather was spectacular, so the kids played for hours in the water, went on a pontoon ride, and then got showered and changed for dinner.  After dinner, the kids got a little more time to play, girls on the ping pong table with Russ, and Trevor and JJ played their video games.  Then, they played a baseball game before ending on charades.  Gwen requests that every time.

We came back on Sunday, and it wasn't very good weather anyway.  We had a fun birthday celebration to get to!  First birthdays are always fun, mostly because the kid has no idea what they are getting into, but seem to understand that for some reason it has to do with them.  It was a great evening.

Monday, I spent the entire day getting ready for today.  Grocery shopping, whoops, I forgot one thing, so I had to go back a second time.  Major laundry to make sure all the right clothes were washed (more for the girl than anything).  All the darn paperwork that needs to be turned back in to the school.  Making the kids fill out their lunch wishes for the first month of school.  It took all day, but it all got done.

Then today:  Gwen was excited for the day, and found out the night before that Trevor said he was nervous.  At first, that shocked me, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  He's hitting that age where he really cares about what other people think of him.  Its not so much anymore about doing the work.  He has no issues with that.  His words about being nervous were something about how he was afraid the new kids would be mean to him.  I made him make sense of that thought by asking him what he would feel in the reverse situation.  I told him I had been a new kid and I was more worried than anything because I thought that everyone would have already made their friends.  He was also sad to see the summer go, but I think that is normal.  Thankfully neither kid was up late with nerves or excitement.  I remember 4th grade was the year I was up past 2am on the first day of school because of my nerves.  In the morning, Trevor didn't want to get up, but that's him not wanting to get moving.  He was up.  Gwen was not up, but was good getting moving, again because she was so excited.

We decided to walk to school, and while protesting at first, Gwen made it, and she told me that she did not want to walk home.  I figured I could accommodate because she would be exhausted and probably not willing to walk back.  Trevor was out the door and running to school.  Guess those nerves wore off!  We got to school in plenty of time.  I asked Gwen if she wanted me to walk her to class, and at first she said no.  I told her that I would say good bye to her at the office, and then she said she wanted me to walk her to class.  I was fine with that.  She found her hook and took out her stuff, and seemed very confident to walk right into class.  She said good-bye with a giant smile on her face.  I'm pretty sure she didn't see me choking up.  But I took a deep breath and moved over to Trevor's room.  I saw him going 100 miles and hour with a fellow classmate from last year.  No worries from him.

So I had a whole day to myself.  I treated myself to dinner with a friend at Crave.  I had a salad and dessert and didn't have to keep checking the clock!  It was amazing!  I filled the rest of my day with little things.  And quickly it was time to get the kids.  I met them in the front area, and Trevor was good, but Gwen was on the fritz.  She was SO crabby and I could tell hungry, thirsty and exhausted.  Now, she would never admit it, but immediately she was yelling at me that she didn't want to walk home.  I explained that I brought the car, but that wasn't good enough.  She couldn't even walk to the car.  *scream scream* *whine whine* I asked her to talk about her day and she didn't want to.  So I asked Trevor.  Then she wanted to.  We got home and she wanted to eat something sweet.  I had her finish her lunch.  It wasn't as uneaten as I thought it would be, but after she had eaten, it helped a bit.  She had homework to do, but didn't seem like she wanted to do it.  Anyway, bottom line, Gwen was tired, Trevor said he had a great day and was all smiles.  He really enjoys how often he rotates classes for different subjects.  They have about a third of their class as not being in their last year's class.  That is nice.

So for now, we will plod ahead to get into some sort of routine.  I have some big events to plan for in the coming weeks already, and I don't know how I'm going to pull them off.  We shall see.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Summer? The End

Well, I won't dwell on the fact that there are some things about the summer that weren't exactly perfect:  Namely the weather and the fact that labor day weekend is the first time all summer that we as a family will be traveling to the cabin.  Yikes.  But no, instead I choose to remember the great times we had this summer.  These last two weeks were done in style.  We had a few days of nothing on the schedule so the kids could just hang out at the house.  But mostly we had to pack in all the things we wanted to make sure we did before the summer was done.  I look at the list, and thankfully we did all the things we had to do, but did not do things we could do when it was winter.  Last week, the big event was Valleyfair.  It was a hot day, unlike last year, so we spent a few hours in the water park.  Gwen was happy in the splash pad, and going around the lazy river.  That's up my speed to at this point.  Trevor went on all the roller coasters this year, and even the giant swing.  Next year, he'll have to try Steel Venom when it is not closed for repairs and maybe the Power Tower.  New for him this year was Wild Thing.  To which he said, "was that supposed to be fast?"  Good for him.  He should ride those coasters while he can!

This week, we went to a friend's pool one day and the State Fair today.  Both gave us some great memories.  It was a hot day today, but luckily a friend gave us a great free giveaway and I never knew how many places had free water, as long as you had your own container.  We ate everything we could, and barring any investigation by CPS due to lack of nutrition today, I think we had a great one!  Cheese curds, mini doughnuts, frozen grapes, milk shakes, french fries (a LOT), chocolate chip cookies, lemonade, Icees, beer (for the adults), a giant pickle for Trevor, and there could have been more.  We visited the Twins shop, the skyride, agriculture building, the cows, pigs, horses, sheep, giant slide, butterfly building (Gwen lasted 3 minutes because she couldn't take the things flying in the room), the maze, trampoline, and tried to stay in the shade as much as possible.  Did I mention it was hot?  Thankfully they had a lot of "mist-ers" out spraying people or blowing a fan with a mist-er on it.  It was very nice.  And we lasted 8+ hours.  Gwen had a few piggy back rides, but really she did great walking around.  No big complaints.  Lots of smiles and good times!  That was really the theme to the summer.  Lots of smiles and great times!

This summer the family got to visit Dr. Johnson and family in South Dakota.  The kids were excited to be in a new state for them.  It was a lot of fun to see so many fireworks on the 4th of July.  We got out to play golf on the small par 3 course by our house.  I did not golf much at all this summer, but we had lots of fun other places.  We visited the city pool a few times and had some great weather and not so great crowds.  I was happy about that!  Trevor got to camp and I didn't have to do anything except bring him to the place.  He did not come home with a million mosquito bites, and he wants to do it again next year, so I'd say a success!  There was a lot of baseball played, by both kids and I'm sure it will ramp up from here.  Even Russ got in on the action when his Twin's Fantasy camp reunion game was played last weekend at Target Field.  Trevor got to really see him pitch and pitched himself on the very mound that the Twins also pitch off of.  It was a great experience for everyone!

Although Trevor says he's not happy that summer vacation is coming to a close, I think there is a part of him that will be happy to see his classmates again.  He knows that with summer ending, comes winter and cold and says he doesn't like the cold.  We'll see.  Next summer will be here again before you know it.  And with the kids having little tastes of fun things to do in the summer, I know we'll be doing a lot more of this summer, in the future summers.  But for now, I too am happy for school to be starting.  I love that I'm going to have time to volunteer more at the kids' school, and get a better idea of what I can do with my time having them at school.  So we'll see what this next change brings.  Hopefully lots more fun to come!

Friday, August 2, 2013

One month to go

We have one month left of Summer vacation.  This month will be remarkably less busy than the other two months.  Baseball is done for both kids.  Gwen was happy to be done playing with the boys.  She did really well and I think it really helped her get a feel for being pitched to.  She can usually get a hit, and did the last few games of her season.  Trevor wrapped up his season just two weeks ago.  Unfortunately they didn't get any hardware, but played their hearts out.  He was a bit disappointed that he didn't get to pitch in the playoff games, but his last game, he played 1st base the entire time, and I have a feeling that is where his calling is.  The kid knows the rules of the game and loves getting the opposing players out because they turn the wrong way off of first base.

Last week we had their team party at a local park.  It really was good to get together one last time with these people.  I hope to have the same experience this year at hockey.  I only wish it would be under warmer circumstances.

Also this week, the kids were for the first time in Camp Kota.  I had heard good things about it, but decided that this year both kids would try it out.  I had thought it would be a great fit for Trevor, but not sure about Gwen.  Turns out she loved it, and was very upset that she wasn't old enough to do the overnight outdoor camping experience that Trevor did.  Although Trevor had a cold all week, he still made it through and said he wants to do it again next year.  That week was the most time I had by myself all summer, and will be for the rest of the summer as well.  So count that as a win for everyone!

We have already gone to get the kids school supplies, so we are well on our way to being ready for school.  There are a few family or group activities that we have yet to cross off our annual summer list of things to do. thing I do have to document.  Gwen had her end of the season golf event a few Fridays ago.  Although Trevor was not in golf league this year, I asked and he could come to the event if he wanted.  They play a few games and such, so he said he would come along.  I honestly don't know what had gotten into Gwen but right away she started whining and yelling at me.  Before finishing the first game, I explained that if she did it again, we were going home.  Sure enough, she continued, so that meant we were going home.  Once she realized that I was serious, an all out temper tantrum ensued.  She was on the ground kicking and screaming.  Trevor was looking at her dumbfounded.  I know the entire golf course was looking over at us.  I finally got her to walk, although she did not stop screaming.  Trevor thought we were just going to move to the next game, but I explained to him that we were done.  So home we came, and after she had calmed down, I think she too didn't know where that came from.  I know kids do things like that, and I know it does happen a lot in the 2-3 year old range, but I'm trying to think of a time where she EVER did something like this before and I can't.  She can usually calm herself down to the point of at least quietly pouting somewhere.  Regardless, that day was shot for things to do.  So we just hung out at home.

So here's hoping for the last month of summer to be actually summer like!  Cheers!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summers are just so crazy!

Here we are, under 50 days before school starts, and there has been so much filling up our time.  We had thought to be done with baseball by now, but Trevor's team is in playoff mode.  They have their first playoff game tomorrow, and could be done for the season, but are hoping to win it to move on to next week.  Gwen finished up her season last week and got a very nice medal to commemorate her year as a baseball player.

Due to baseball, our 4th of July was quite short.  We decided to head out to South Dakota on the 4th, and stayed two days before going back on Saturday.  We were able to see Derek and Kyrsten's new place and enjoy some family time and great food!

Trevor finished his first round of hockey clinics last week and he seems to have had a good time doing it.  There were a bunch of kids that he knew so he could have some fun with them.  Previously, we have done clinics where most of the kids were from around the metro - Edina, Savage, etc.  So I think that was fun for him to play with his pals.

Gwen has been doing lots of "camps".  Mostly gymnastics, but one week was an American Girl Doll camp.  She was in heaven!  She had things to give to her doll and things that she got to do to herself.  She had a PJ party day dressing up like her doll and a spa day so she could have cucumber slices on her eyes while she relaxed and had her nails done.  She has had a few classes where she knew the girls going in, but she quickly makes new friends if she doesn't know anyone.  She found a girl from her school but not in her grade and they became fast friends because of their common background.

Last weekend I was able to golf for the first time in Minnesota this year with my dad, Russ, and Trevor.  It was a warm day, and very sunny.  Honestly, it was perfect.  I did not play perfect, but I missed my golf!  It is one of those things that really jump starts my happiness, so I didn't have to go to hot yoga that week.  I may be able to play a few more rounds this summer, but next summer, I'm going to have to use a way to go during the mornings since the kids will be in school.  Unless there is still snow on the ground.  Maybe then I'll rethink my idea.....

We saw the movie Monster's University last weekend too.  That was a fun show.  Pixar does all their movies so well.  And it wasn't too scary for Gwen either.  New experience #2 for the week was heading to the local aquatic center.  They have two large water slides, one that Gwen cannot ride yet, two diving boards, a smaller water slide into the deep water, and then lots of zero depth fun for younger kids with a play/slide climbing structure.  It was another perfect day that I had with the kids.  The weather was hot, the timing was great.  We went around 2pm so the first wave of people had headed back home, and the crowd just thinned out from there.  Gwen was slightly nervous in that she thought she was going to have to wear a life jacket, but when I told her that in the slides, you can stand up and not be under water, she was happy.  The kids lasted over 2 1/2 hours.  1/2 hour longer than I had hoped, but I was not complaining.  Again, lots of happy sun and warmth for me!

Both kids are taking their camps at the same place so they have gotten to ride the bus which gives me a full 3 hours of freedom.  I've finally felt like I was catching up with all those things I wanted to start in the summer.  Only took me half of the summer to start them.  Maybe it'll be easier next year.  Uh huh....

Our week concludes with our first summer trip to the lake.  Hoping there is more sunny/warm weather in our future.  I'll take sunny over warm....but it will be nice to be there!  Here we come!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

RIP Kermie

It is time to say good-bye to our first furbaby:  She came into our lives through Ramsey County Humane Society.  It said on her card that she was a stray, and picked up in an alley.  She was very anxious and had a large bruise on her nose from pushing against the cage.  When we got to play around with her, she continued to be anxious around us, but I felt like she was still a good fit.  We brought her home, and within a week, we adopted a second cat, this time from the Hennepin County Humane Society, and part of a litter of cats.  We decided that because we weren't going to be home a lot, having two cats to keep each other company would be best.  We decided to name them Kermie and Piggy (for my love of the Muppets) and found that their names seemed to fit them.  They were both born the early part of 1998.  Piggy gained weight fast and became larger than Kermie.  But Kermie was the responsible one.  Much more shy but still wanted attention, just not if there were a lot of guests in and around the house.

Even through babies and kids, Kermie really got it.  When the kids were of the age where they would chase after the cats and want to pull their tails, Kermie would wait until they were either up for a nap or down for the night.  You can see from the pictures above that when the kids were babies and couldn't get around fast enough to chase them, she knew she was ok.  Kermie was the one that you would find sleeping on top of your head.  Piggy was the one that was looking for any sudden movement on the bed to pounce on.  Kermie was the one that loved the laser beam lights.  Kermie was the older "sister" and like some older sisters that I know, really acted the part keeping her younger siblings in line.

When we got a third cat - a kitten - a little under two years ago, it seemed like Piggy's health was going downhill.  At the time, I thought Kermie would outlive all of them.  She lived such a relaxed life.  She would still play fight with Piggy and play around with the new kitten as well.  But she never had any problems.  Unfortunately, over the past year or so, she started losing weight.  She wasn't the heavy one to begin with, and it wasn't dramatic until the last few weeks.  Then this weekend, her whole attitude changed.  Even as recent as a few days ago, she was within what I would consider her normal behavior.  She was jumping up to get onto beds and chairs, but this weekend, that all stopped.  She spent most of the days in our bathroom waiting for the sink to drip water.  So I knew she needed to be seen.  I made an appointment on Monday morning for that afternoon.  I tried many times to make sure she was comfortable or to drink or eat something, but she just wouldn't or couldn't.  Russ decided he was going to take her to the vet.  We had the kids pet her, and while they were at the vet, I prepared the kids for the thought that she was going to be gone because she was sick.  When the blood work came back that Kermie was in severe kidney failure, we knew it was time to explain the facts.  All of us were crying, and trying to grasp the concept, particularly for Gwen.  She hasn't had to deal with any sort of significant death in her lifetime.

So, it is with great sadness that we must say goodbye to our first 15 1/2 years old.  We all love you and hope you enjoy your time following the laser light in the sky.