Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Visited My Mom

My Mom is in the hospital. She was admitted two nights ago and has been in a bit of a decline. When I got there she was barely awake and her voice was only a whisper. The kids helped me make a card for her with a photo of the three of them on the outside and some custom art work on the inside. She really loves making cards by hand and definitely loved receiving hand made cards.

My Dad was in a chair right next to the bed looking worn out. Pretty much as soon as I got there he and I needed to leave the room so Mom could get some care from the nurse. He and I sat in a visitor lounge talking about what has happened and what may happen for about a half an hour. He was really thankful that she is not in pain. So far she has refused medication for pain because she hasn't needed it. He also said she has been with us almost four times longer than the original prognosis expectation. We have all been lucky.

I love my Mom and Dad. This is a hard time. My Mom is having a harder time staying awake and talking is a challenge because of it. I could tell that me being there did cheer her up but she was definitely not her usual self.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Kids Grow

I spent the majority of my time at home with Abby and Ashton. Abby was with me all morning and she was very fun. It is amazing how incremental changes in her ability to communicate change her personality. She is very good at talking and she is understanding us even more. I know she is going to be a fun person as she grows up.

Ashton has been growing up, too. She is becoming an energetic and fun little girl. When she gets off the bus she plays a mini game of hide and go seek with me and she laughs the whole time. Today we ran up the driveway hand in hand because the wind was bitterly cold.

Allen is coming into his own as well. In the morning he tries to make sure everyone is completely ready and on time. He often tells Ashton or me that we need to get our shoes on and hurry up or we will miss the bus. I remember as a kid really liking camouflage stuff and now he is getting into it too. He picked out a new winter coat that was camo and he really loves it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Slow Morning

Amber was not feeling well so she and the kids stayed home from church. Abby got up early and Amber really wanted me to get up to watch the kids. We took it easy and played some games like Go Fish and soccer and catch. Allen really got into throwing a football. I never had him do it before because I thought that he would have trouble throwing it but he did really well. He had a spiral and could throw pretty hard. Ashton and Abby played with us and Ashton did really well with the card game. The girls are cute when they get into the games. Often they will get very excited and cheer or yell about it. I love the fun we share.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Getting Gifts

The kids really decorated the tree very well. I woke up this morning to three excited kids proudly displaying the accomplshment. I am really looking forward to this holiday. Hopefully this one will be special.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Long Day

Obviously my day was pretty long at work. I had some fun and was reasonably successful at taking care of business.

More importantly I got home to a house full of people ready to greet me. It was really great to have everyone yell and scream that I was home. I am very tired but I think we are going to put the Christmas tree up tonight. We have had a small tree for several years but Amber found a great deal on a full sized imitation tree. The kids are very excited to get the brand new tree up. Afterward I will be heading to bed to get ready for another long day.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


We spent the holiday with my parents. My mom has really needed more medical attention lately and we found out that she visited the doctor yesterday, too. Both of my parents looked pretty worn out and took a nap in the mid afternoon after we all ate the feast. The food was great and everyone seemed to get some of their favorites.

Tomorrow is the big day and I have to be at work at 3 a.m. I am a little excited but mostly dread how I will feel after a long 10 hour (or more) shift. See you on the other side.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Calm Before the Storm

My work centers around Friday. The whole year is preparation for this day and the coming weeks. Thanksgiving is always a little strange with the looming insanity.

Today I played with the kids and we were able to cuddle. All three of the children are getting to be more amazing and incredible every day. Abby is saying more and more words but my personal favorite is "what's up, dude". Ashton is really figuring out how to make it to the bathroom and she is always loads of fun with the imaginative things she says and thinks. Allen is reading more and encourages us with his enthusiasm to read and do word puzzles. Each of them remind me of aspects of my own personality.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kids Stuff

Abby and Ashton were home with me this morning and went along for the ride for my final visit to the doctor regarding my knee. The trip was uneventful. Later in the day we all played Monkey in the Middle and some soccer and shared some laughs. As the kids get older it is even more fun to do the fast paced activities. It was a really great time.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Everyone is Home

Amber came home tonight. Her arrival was none too soon. Her every day contributions around the house especially with helping the kids was certainly noticed. It is really amazing that I found this woman. She is a compassionate and intelligent person and I love her very much. It was really nice to see the kids so happy when she finally got home. We missed her quite a bit.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Whirlwind Day

I left home at about 7 a.m. and got back at almost 6 p.m. After dinner and cleaning up a bit there wasn't much time for too much fun. Allen really wanted to do something special tonight so I dug up the poker set that I got as a prize at work and we played War. First round was the ladies and Abby and Ashton had a showdown. Abby kept putting cards down and immediately saying "I win" and clapping vigorously. Allen and I played and he trounced me severely. It was fun. We cuddled on the couch for a bit and watched the Berenstain Bears and then it was bed time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Party Time

The kids and I visited grandma today. She is officially done with chemotherapy and we really wanted to see her. She seems to be in really good spirits in spite of it all. Everyone genuinely enjoyed the short time there.

While in Hastings we picked up some party essentials. We carefully selected hats, colorful plates, a cake, and ice cream. The kids really enjoyed it.

As if the day weren't filled with enough fun, we topped it off with a good cuddle in Allen's bed while he read to us. We were all very cozy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

All Business

Today Amber left for a conference and will be gone until Friday night. She hasn't been gone for 24 hours and we all miss her very much. Today was the beginning of a school break so the kids are going to be home until next week.

Yesterday we had a concert from Ashton where I played some rock tunes on my laptop and she put on a show with a Guitar Hero guitar. It was so much fun, Abby and Allen both took turns. It was really awesome!

Oh yeah. Today is also my birthday.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Allen has been diagnosed with tonsilitis. He stayed home from school and has been running a temperature all day. We are all sick to some extent but he is the most sick among us.

We watched the new Avatar episode tonight and one of the characters portrayed was a witch and Ashton has announced that she will have nightmares. I hope not. I told her that she can call us if she gets scared.

Abby has been incredibly cute and is walking about shrugging her shoulders and smiling really big. She is also talking really well. Her progress is really surprising to me (probably because I think of her as a baby still).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Super Mario Tesla

Night Out

Having kids as young as 6, 4, and 2 usually means we don't eat out. Tonight we went to a restaurant and spent some fun time together. Everyone was pretty well behaved. Apparently the only incident we had is that Ashton was singing Disney songs loudly in the bathroom.

I took the opportunity to teach the kids the popular seasonal rhyme: Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat. If you don't, I don't care. You can smell my underwear. It was a hit.

On our way to the restaurant Allen decided to cut out small strips of paper and roll them up on the end of a pencil. He called them scrolls and would write messages on them such as "stingkey butt" or "I hate you" while he would laugh. He insisted that he didn't mean what was written but Ashton got rather upset and started to yell a bit. Amber and I laughed. We thought it was pretty funny that she was getting so upset while she couldn't actually read the little slips of paper.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Winter is Coming

This was an incredibly cold morning. I took Allen and Ashton to the end of the driveway in the van because it was so windy, cold, and wet. Even as I was driving home there was sleet and the wind was still gusting to where I got a little uncomfortable.

Everyone in the family is getting to have a strange sleep schedule. I get home late so it is hard to get to bed. I still need to get up in the morning to help the kids to the bus stop so that means I sometimes doze off mid morning on my days off. Abby is getting up really early and then takes a nap that is longer in the day which leads to her not sleeping the whole night (vicious circle). Amber has many days that she will be gone for 12 or more hours and then has to get up earlier than everyone else so she can get ready for work before she gets the kids up and ready.

Life gets crazy but it is worth it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Huge Rainbow

Today I was home (as usual) with the girls. Grandma called and sounded like she was feeling very good. Lately, I know that she has not felt good at all. She missed Amber and the kids at church yesterday as most of the family is sick.

Amber came home a little early so I could go to Thornapple Manor for the IT Support Technician opening I would like to get into. I ran some other errands while I was in Hastings. On the way back home it began to rain pretty hard. It looked as though it might have hailed or had freezing rain as well. Once the weather subsided I noticed a really vivid and complete rainbow. It was so incredible that I saw other people pulled over to look at it and another driver almost hit me head on. I can't remember ever seeing a complete rainbow, let alone one so bright and clear in my whole life.

Tonight Amber was telling the kids about how the frogs sounded when she lived in New Mexico as a little girl and imitated the sound. Ashton got really excited and said: "Mommy! You can speak frog?! I can speak owl! See? (insert owl sound here)". :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Chasing a Rabbit

We have a rabbit that lives near our house and it comes out occasionally to forage. Amber told me that the kids were chasing it around the house and coming somewhat close before it would run away. Ashton claims to have pet it but the report has conflicting eye witness testimony.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Building Bridges

Last night I had trouble sleeping because of my cold. I think that breathing through my mouth makes my mouth so dry that I wake up. The point is that as the morning wore on I fell asleep on the couch. Amber was mad (rightfully so) because she is also sick but did not have an opportunity to take a nap. I woke up to hear the kids crying and Amber glaring at me.

I realized that I couldn't just lay there and jumped up. First I went into Allen's room. He told me to go but I finally got him to laugh a bit. He told me that he did not want to clean his room or put his clothes away but that was the only way Amber was going to let him have candy. I told him that I would help and that made him feel a lot better.

Ashton and Abby heard him laughing and they came into his room. I asked if we wanted to make some mail for each other and the kids emphatically agreed. The four of us sat in Allen's room and made some colorful messages for one another. I really enjoyed it. After we were done the kids were allowed to have candy.

After the good time we had together it was a little harder for me to leave for work. I would have rather stayed home and played more soccer or catch with the kids. At least Amber was awake when I got home.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Run, Run, Run

I got home later than I should have tonight. I got home for everyone to be getting pajamas on and thinking about bedtime. Ashton sang me some spooky Halloween songs she learned in school and it was very cute. Allen read us stories again and Ashton tried her hand at it as well. Abby even climbed off of Amber's lap to cuddle with me before she went to bed. I like it when I can share some time with the family. Even Amber was available and she and I cuddled for a bit while we watched Harry Potter.