Friday, March 28, 2008

Thank you for your prayers

I just want to thank everyone for praying for me and for my family. I have felt much more peaceful today than I thought I was going to.

Lance took the day off and spent it with me. We walked over the Walnut Street Bridge, where my dad took his last step, last breath, one year ago this morning. It is so beautiful, I know why he loved jogging across it.

We went to the Riverpark and let Connor & Noelle play, remembering all the fun times there with my dad, and appreciating the hard work he put into that park and walkway along the river.

We went to the cemetery. His space seemed so small to me. I am glad he's there by the duck pond where so many children have fun. And he's a stone's throw from the softball field where he played for so many years.

Now we're going to spend the evening with my mom and siblings.

I want to leave you with a link to Lance's beautiful post about time spent with my dad:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bernard the Gerbil visits

Last week we volunteered to take care of Connor's class pets while the school was on Spring Break. We had Bernard the Gerbil and Sammy the Salamander. The salamander was a little boring, as pets go, and he mostly stayed hidden under a rock. Bernard, on the other hand, was lots of fun to watch.

Bernard is an active gerbil, and he seemed to be eating, adjusting his bedding, or exploring his cage almost all the time. Whenever I caught him napping, I always looked closely to make sure he was breathing. When Connor would give him a little snack, Bernard would grab it with his cute little hands and scamper off to eat it. Noelle loved to watch Bernard - she even called him "Baapa."

About 10 years ago, Trevor had a pet gerbil named Cosmo. It was a small type of gerbil, and I was warned that it would not have a very long life expectancy. Sure enough, Cosmo died one day while Trevor was away on spring break. When he returned, we told him what happened, in the gentlest way we could,but tried not to make a big deal of it. Then one day a neighbor was over and asked Trevor where Cosmo was. Trevor said "he went to that place all gerbils go." The neighbor asked if Cosmo died, and Trevor replied "no, he just went to that place, you know, where all gerbils go." Lance & I just smiled at each other as we realized we didn't quite explain the situation completely to Trevor. We waited until the neighbor had left before we made things a little more clear.

Ahhh, fond gerbil memories...

Friday, March 21, 2008

The first anniversary, without

Today was my parent's wedding anniversary. This day was very hard on my mom. Last year, my dad got finished with a meeting early, called my mom, and they went out to eat. She said it was such a nice dinner; the food was perfect, their conversation perfect. They had no idea it would be their last anniversary.
My father's father died in his sleep at the age of 62. After his death, my father began exercising passionately. He was always active, but this was when he really began jogging. That was in 1980, and he exercised just about every weekday since. I think he didn't want what happened to his father to happen to him. He didn't want to leave his family early, he wanted to live a long time. He loved kids, and really loved his grandkids. Of course, they loved him too!
My dad really enjoyed exercising. He jogged, swam, did the resistance circuit, took aerobic and spin classes. He was great at water skiing. He loved playing tennis, basketball, volleyball, and softball. He had regular checkups. Sometimes with a death there is something to blame - another person, an unhealthy lifestyle, a disease. With my dad, there is nothing to blame. In fact, what weighs heavily on my mind is how hard he worked to keep himself healthy, to be there for his wife and family.
Of course, I am thankful that I did get to have him in my life as long as I did. And, on this anniversary, I am grateful to my parents for showing me a loyal, committed marriage. I hope you all enjoy these photos taken at my parents' wedding, today's date, so many years ago.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Decorating Easter Eggs

Yesterday we decorated Easter eggs.

First, we boiled a dozen eggs. Then we ate 5 of them (Noelle's first boiled eggs, and she ate almost 3)!

Second, we drew designs (flowers, swirls, etc) on the eggs with crayons.

Third, I mixed up three shades of egg dye powder, vinegar & water.

Fourth, we gently dipped the eggs in the little bowls of dye. Aren't they pretty?

During this process, Noelle became very impatient, so I put her in her high chair with a measuring cup of crushed ice, a baby spoon, and another cup, so she could transfer the ice chips back & forth (and eat some, too). I've tried this set-up with other items, like cereal, but ice chips are so much easier to clean up.

Connor has really been into Easter egg hunts this year. In fact, we've "practiced" almost every day by taking turns hiding a little plastic egg or a tennis ball and letting the other person find it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, and Lance's Irish heritage (25%), and Lance's fond New Mexican food memories, tonight we are making Sheep Herders for dinner: corned beef, diced green chilies, green chili sauce, shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, and sour cream rolled up in (whole wheat) flour tortillas. Bake, covered, just until warm. Mmmmm.

Monday, March 10, 2008

My ear talks to me

Here's my most recent conversation with Connor. I have to document it because I want to remember it (and maybe use it against him one day).

Connor: "Mommy, when I drink water, if I'm completely silent, while I'm drinking my ears talk to me. Really. I'm not kidding."

Me: "What do they say to you?"

Connor: "I know, but I can't tell you."

I don't know why I find that so funny. I'm still giggling just thinking about it.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

100 Things We Didn't Know Last Year

For example:
3. Adding milk to tea negates the health-giving effects of a hot brew.

5. Cloudy apple juice is healthier than clear, containing almost double the antioxidants which protect against heart disease and cancer.

31. There is mobile phone reception from the summit of Mount Everest.