Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mixed up day

One day a few weeks ago, Sam was told to dress 'mixed up' for school.  This is what he came up with- all on his own.

And to think- I was going to suggest he wear his backpack on his front.

Friday, March 30, 2012

I thought I was gonna die

(I can't get my comments to work now- but thank you Miss Penny for your kind words- I love you.  And Amy, your comments are always so sweet, thank you.  I am sorry that you have experienced the loss of your dad, me too, 11 years ago.  So hard.  By the way, I think people say "I'm Sorry" because "Wow- that totally sucks big giant fat rotten eggs" is culturally unacceptable : ) (Oh- and just my opinion, you should never feel guilty about a little rest time, you deserve it- and need it.) (And I would totally buy your frog eggs if we were closer).

Over 6 hours ago I began working on the childrens rooms.  With the children of course.  Until Emily and Allyson were in such a huff that I threatened to stuff them both into the toy box- then they took turns because working together was too much.

Sam and I started his room a few days ago.  And by a few days, I mean two weeks ago.  We dumped his closet and toybox in the middle of the floor and basically abandoned it.  Today I couldn't take it anymore. 

It seems as though the kids have stuff oozing out of everything.  Every box, bag, cubby, drawer, closet and bed has stuff falling out all over the place.  And in front of all the shelves full of stuff?  Piles of stuff.  Enough stuff!

Time for a clean out!  And that is what we did.  Do you realize what kind of work it is to put every single piece of every single game, puzzle, toy, set back with all it's other counter parts?  To decifer what each little round, long, short, thing is and what it goes to?  To pick countless squinkies out of every single corner of every single closet, drawer, toybox, closet?  P A I N F U L!

But it is finished. They sorted, made piles of stuff to get rid of, sorted out shoes that are too little, put parts back together, and filled two entire trashbags with broken stuff and just plain trash.
 I know their room is very..........colorful............but it is their design and I'm okay with it.  Especially now that the sheets are clean, floors swept, crevices free of debris and toys organized. 
 Sam's room became the place for the garage sale stuff to land.  But otherwise it is tidy and organized.  He doesn't even have 27 trucks parked all along every single wall and piece of furniture anymore.  Not decorators showcase- but perfectly fine by me.
In case you are wondering, these are the stuffed animals emily whittled her sleeping 'musts' down to.  Yes, there were more.  An enitre trash bag.  She didn't get rid of them, mind you.  Heavens no.  She just moved that trash bag full upstairs to the toy room.  If you have EVER bought emily a stuffed animal, she still has it.  And probably sleeps with it from time to time.  I'll never understand her obsession with them.  However, I am more accepting of it now.  While on vacation she was upset over something and crying.  She said "The only thing that ever makes me feel better is you (me that is), Rosie and my stuffed animals".  A more pure love there has never been.

The rest of my house is a disaster zone, but these two rooms are good to go.  At least for 10 minutes before the kids wreck them again.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

We were not promised life without suffering

There is nothing graceful about watching someones body shut down.

But when that person is the father of your husband, the grandfather of your children, the man who took you onto the dance floor at your wedding as you celebrated your marriage-my father in becomes much more real.

It's no different than seeing anyone you love suffer.  No different than embracing the thought of this world without someone you love.  No more different than it has been for those of you reading this blog who have seen cancer snuff out a once vibrant loved ones life. And if not cancer, then some other beast that has taken them from you. 

Death is the inevitible part of this life.  Physical death anyway.  I hold steadfast faith in God, so for me death is not the end but the beginning.  But dang it sure does make the rest of our physical lives hard, while we wait to join them.

Dan's dad is struggling.  He's tired, he's swollen from steroids, he's unable to sit up for very long, he's not eating, he's unable to stand up by himself.  And Dan's mom is giving her all to care for him.  It's becoming so hard for her because he really needs a lot of physical support.  But she's still giving her all, even though it is hurting her body.

Dan has gone over to spend the next few days with them.  There is a doctors appointment today and various other tasks.  Later this morning the kids and I will join them.  We're going to clean the house and deliver lunch and stay with papaw while the others go hear what the doctor has to say.

Which isn't going to be pretty, I'm afraid.  How could it be?  The obvious signs are there.  They have begun. This once vibrant, funny, strong man is melting away right before our eyes.  My prayers are constant for the Lord to allow him to hear his whispers, for his heart to be filled with the joy of our Lord.  For him to be filled with that peace.  For Ginny to feel that peace.  Not that the grief and mourning won't still be there- because they will.  No one who is loved ever leaves without causing pain. 

Last night my heart was heavy.  I was thinking about how the world is continuing to circle around despite the horror in our family.  Girl scout meeting reminders, canned food collections, school book fairs, sports practices, library books due, constant work stress.  It all just keeps marching right along, despite the horrible monster that has moved into our family.  I was angry.  Angry that all I can do is make a pan of food, pick up items at the grocery, scrub toilets, there is nothing of any significance that I can do.

And then I heard the kids in all their excitement running in and out of the house.  A night time game of tag had begun with the neighborhood kids.  So I grabbed my drink and headed to the deck.  And there in the silence of the night I heard laughter, giggling, shoes running across gravel, squeals.  Happiness- right there in my back yard.  It was the reminder my heavy heart needed.  It gave me the strength to finish cooking the chicken and make apple dumplings to boot.

This is a scary part of my life.  Of our lives.  Thank you for letting me share it here, to kind of dump it out and think it through.  It's hard not to focus on this all the time.  It's hard to think that this could go on like this for months- surely God won't ask his dad to suffer like this for months???  I don't want him to leave, but it's hard to see him suffering so.  I can hardly breathe when I think about the tasks before our family in the weeks to come.  And then the years after where we try to find a new normal without him. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A heart felt thank you

I never did thank my husband for getting our desktop computer up and running again.  Even though it totally freaked me out a little when the first thing he did was remove the cover and start rummaging those giant fingers around in those delicate electronic computer thingies. 

I'll be even more grateful when the past 10 years of photographs are somewhere accessible and safe instead of in his underwear drawer zipped inside a plastic baggie.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


If you remember right- we are supposed to be trucking it all the way across the country this week.  With Dan's dad being so sick, we decided it would be better if we stuck close to home instead (which made my 'can't stand going to long road trips' self very happy.  Very. 
We decided to book it to Chicago instead for just a couple days.  Just a couple glorious days.
Now- in typical Mynde fashion, I will bore you to tears with fuzzy, unfocused photographs.
Which are not in order.  I tried to upload them in order and it got jammed.  Then I got frustrated and just put them in random order.  You're welcome.
Drum roll please.........
Dan wouldn't let us eat here because we have one at home.  Such a spoiler.

 Our hotel had fish and nice hotel desk ladies with cups of fish food.  Plus happy hour and omlett boys. We decided to splurge on a hotel without bed bugs too.  We're classy like that.  (But you know I spent like 20 minutes checking every single crevice- right???)
 IKEA and their glorious shopping cart escalators.  See that black and white checked roll thing in my cart, that is the blankie I put back.  It was a mistake.
 Lightening at the Museum of Science and Industry.
 Alligator ride in lego land.
 One super happy boy who almost chose to miss swimming to finish building his newest treasure.
 The coolest invention ever- a giant bouncing pillow jumping thing.  Don't think I'm not going to try and figure out how to build one of these in the back yard.
 We had an unexpected stop at Fair Oaks Dairy Farm on our way to chicago.  Dan wanted to stretch his legs, I wanted to see what the gorgeous building was.  Turns out it was TOTALLY AWESOME!
 And included a full tour on a bus painted like a cow with a visit to the Cow Carosel milking station.  Those cows hop on 4 times a day for a 7.5 minute ride that milks them as they go round.
 The tour bus drove us right through the cow barn.  And back at the beautiful building????  A birthing barn, where we got to see.........
 a cow giving birth.  I apologize for the lack of pictures, I was crossing my legs and praying for momma cow- it was amazing to watch but my heart went out to that momma.  The only thing that snapped my focus was when sam shouted, really loud, 'is she gonna poop it out?'  Perhaps some lessons we should have saved for when they are older.
When her baby came out, a farm hand helped pull it out where she could reach it.  She licked and licked and licked.  It made me sad that in just a few hours her baby would be moved to the special baby dog house kennel things, alone, and she would be moved to the milking barn to start her turns on the carosel of milking. Without her baby.

On a side note, a really gross side note, see right by the mommas tail?  That was this giant ball of bloody mess that came out with the baby- the afterbirth placenta stuff.  Sam was totally intrigued with it, the blood ball he kept calling it. Question after question after question, for the whole trip.  While in downtown chicago, he was asking about it again and if I had one or not.  He wanted to know where it was and why we didn't keep it.  I told him we had to choose, the ball or the baby. 
He declared that when he grows up and has a wife, they are picking the ball.
So much for grandchildren.

 Sam's french fry mustache.
 The bean.  Dan had no idea what we were talking about.  But I KNOW he is glad we paid to park to go to see it.
 No kidding- we spent more on parking during this trip than I have spent on clothing for myself in the past 12 months. I don't know how people afford to live here.

 The Museum of Science and Industry.  So worth the entire trip.
 Sam checking out his selection from Lego Land.

 Lego Land entry. Even the lights were made out of legos.
 That boy over to the right in the black shirt- he was prompt in telling me our turn was over and we needed to move on and let them have a photograph turn.  I explained I needed to snap one more with my daughters ipod- and he was kind enough to tell me we could have one more- just one.  Very generous he was.
 Lego Land.
 Darth Vader and whoever that is made out of legos.  Emily says it's R2D2. I'm not sure she can be trusted.
 Emily being eaten by a lego hippo.
 Chicago in legos.
 Emily in a vortex. (Museum of Science and Industry)
 The museum of science and industry- me and the kids and a complete rude stranger.  I suppose he thought if he ducked we wouldn't notice him in our picture?
 The bean again- totally marvelous.  Completely made of stainless steel sheets welded together and polished.

 Emily and I made a special trip to the American Girl store where Emily's doll Emily got her ears pierced at the salon. 
 Dan and Ally- lego land- not riding the super cool ride.
 The Art Institute of Chicago.

 My rule when we go places is if you bring something, you carry it.  It's hard to see- but sam has his jacket stuffed into the front of his sweatpants.  We're nothing if not fancy.
 Our hotel lobby area.  Amazingly beautiful.
 Air experiment at the museum.

 A giant gerbil wheel for people.
 Our super fancy tea at the American Girl Cafe.  If you have a daughter, granddaughter, or neighbor girl, you MUST take her here.  It was such an experience.
 The whole store is amazing.
 But the cafe?  It caters totally to the girl in all of us.
 And the food- so delicate, dainty, beautiful.
 And the dessert- even more amazing.  I will spare you the details of how much it cost to enjoy that tea- but I will say it was worth every single stinking penny just to enjoy it with emily.  However, Sam Ally and Dan were kind of whining about having to go so we let them roam the 7 story mall instead- which was a wise decision.  They wouldn't have appreciated it like we did.  And Dan wouldn't have thought a cucumber cream cheese sandwich shaped like a flower was worth the cost.  He doen't have an appreciation for the finer things in life.

 The stuff we brought for just a 2 night stay.  2 nights.  Proof postive that we will never be able to fly anywhere because we'd have to book a private plane just for the things we would have to take for an entire week.
 the only family picture we have from chicago (it's our reflection in the bean).
 This is underneath the bean.  It has a 'belly button'.  It's so cool.
Me and the kids without the random stranger walking in front of us.  We were in the transporation part of the museum- that has actual airplanes hanging from the ceiling including a real 727.  Wow.

We had a great time.  We didn't get to go up in the Sears Tower, visit navy pier or ride the L, but that just means maybe we get to go back someday.  It was a fun trip with lots of super fun things to do.  And we are worn out and need to unpack all the 'stuff' we drug up there with us.

Thanks for playing along!