Monday, December 28, 2009

Where Did The Decade Go? Wow, that was fast. So, lets recap our 2000's. -Bill and I became more then friends. -I moved in. -We added Jeepster to our family. -I lost my Dad. -Bill and I partied. A lot. -Bill and I traveled. A lot. -I had my dream job for the blink of an eye. Damn buyout. -We married. -We partied some more. -We traveled some more. -I lost 50+ lbs. -I got to be front-row-center for Duran Duran on my birthday. Drummer Roger Taylor gave me a sweaty wristband as a gift. Yes, at 30-something years old, I slept with it on that night and called all my fellow Duranies to tell them about it. -We started the long journey through infertility. -We found (and lost) Bill's Dad. -We met some of our best friends because of the internet. -We fought like hell to get pregnant. -It finally worked. -We welcomed two little babes that put their hands around our hearts and haven't let go since. -We moved. -We nearly lost our minds moving & working on the new house. -We nursing our family through our sons' metopic craniosynostosis surgery. -I gained 50+ lbs. -We reconnected with lots of people through facebook. -We are raising two funny, smart, cute little people. I don't make resolutions. I don't like to set myself up for failure. I am going to make an effort on a couple of things though. I want to spend more time with the people I love, or at least make contact with them once a month, and to also put myself first a little more often. I want to challenge you to do the same. Life is busy. If we don't nuture those things/people that are major components of who we are are, we will not only lose them, but a little bit of ourselves. Send someone a note out of the blue, set up a dinner date, or go on a weekend get-away. Find a passion and make time for it in your life. Go on, you are worth it. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Drink Until The Sun Goes Down
Today is Bill, Sam & Gary's annual shoot-guns-and-then-drink-until-the-sun-goes-down day. Deb, the kids, and I are invited to the lunch portion of the festivites. This year the kids discovered the bowling machine.
Mental note *next year brings lots of quarters.

A Hello From Beyond? A couple of days ago I went to Walgreens to pick up a photo order I had been working on late the night before. There was no order there. I was sure I sent it, but then again it was late, and with Chandler on my mind it was not surprising that I had messed something up. The person behind the photo counter brought the "P" box up onto the counter and began going through all the envelopes. Something caught my eye. An envelope for "Pike". I asked her to go back since, in my fog maybe I had put in my maiden name. She looked and said, "No, that is for Kim Pike. It hasn't been picked up since May." Kim Pike was my half-sister's name. She didn't live here, she lived in PA. She died of a brain anyerisum a couple of years ago. Her birthday is in May. Of all the names/dates in the world....... Strange coincidence or one of THOSE things when I needed it most?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Spreading Good Cheer
Today some fellow Moms and I took our kids to my Grandpa's nursing home to decorate a Christmas tree with ornaments we made at a playdate a couple of weeks ago. The kids, ranging in age from 2-4 did an excellent job decorating, but had even more fun with a cardboard box.
Reagan and Nolan playing on the ramps until their friends arrived.
Reagan and Sarah decorating the tree.
The supervisors taking a break! Nolan and his friend, Matt.
First it was a box, then a sleigh, and finally a bed. Even though most of the kids are too young to understand the joy they brought today, it was still a nice way to teach the lesson.

Papa's House

In the 1950's, my Grandparents bought a house in Slavic Village to raise their family. Three kids grew up there, they had pets there, snuck out at night from there, grandkids gathered there every Sunday--one even lived there when he was first born,and my Grandma passed away there. The house hasn't been the same since that day. Now I'm not going to paint a rosy picture of a loving family playing Scrabble around the dining room table each week. That was not us. You see this side of my family thrived on bickering. Supposedly in a playful manner because there was always laughter, but usually someones feeling were hurt at the end of the day (mainly my Grandma since she could dish it, but not take it). The grandkids would run in circles from living room, to kitchen, to dining room eating the spaghetti (my cousin Terri wouldn't eat anything else) and thumbprint cookies (my Grandma had to hide them from cousin Tommy or he'd eat them all) Grandma Neiman made. Once we grew up, we'd go upstairs and talk to each other through the big wall registers and play with the glass doorknobs or hang out on the back porch listening to music in our teenage years. It was what we did every Sunday. Times changed. Kids grew up and had "better" things to do on a Sunday afternoon. My Uncle Bob moved to Texas. I can't even tell you for sure the last time we were all together in that house, but it might have been for my Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. I know my Dad and I shared a few drinks on the back porch that day. Come to think of it, if Dad and I were drinking then the whole family MUST have been there! A lot of us gathered there when my Grandma took ill and was confined to bed. I was unemployed at the time (and, looking back, was glad I spent the last few weeks of her life with her.) I will never forget the day I was laying in bed with her and she started talking about how she wanted her funeral to be. I asked careful questions and filed it away. It was a difficult conversation to have, but I'm glad she trusted that I would get it right for her. I never shed a tear or choked up, I just kept asking exactly what she wanted. Once she fell asleep, I got up, walked out of the room and promptly fell apart. After that day, there was really no joy for me in that house. Despite a changed neighborhood, my Grandpa held his ground and was not leaving his home until he physically couldn't stay there anymore. That happened this past May. It was an unceremonious ending. He fell in his living room, my mom took him to the ER, and he never went back. Our family has this tradition of driving by a loved one's home when they pass away. When we make that drive with my Grandpa someday it will be that much harder because that house is no longer our families home. Today is the last time someone in the Neiman family locked the door. Tomorrow a new family moves in. It is hard to imagine anyone else walking up those stairs, or washing dishes at the kitchen sink. May our memories live on in those walls and may another family make good memories there.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chandler Oct 26, 1994-Dec 14 2009 Rest in peace, our sweet fur-kid Chandler & Reagan May 14, 2007
If it should be that I grow frail and weak And pain should keep me from my sleep Then you muct do what must be done For this, the last battle, can't be won. You will be sad- I understand Don't let your grief then stay your hand For this day, more than all the rest Your love and friendship stand the test. We've had so many happy years What is to come can hold no fears You'd not want me to suffer, so When the time comes, please let me go. I know in time you too will see It is a kindness you do to me Although my tail, it's last has waved From pain and suffering I've been saved. Don't grieve that it should be you Who has decided this thing to do We've been so close, we two these years Don't let your heart hold any tears. Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tis the Season To Be Busy Well, well, well. Thought I'd forgotten about you, especially those of you not updated on our day to day life via facebook? It's been hectic and tiring and when the sun doesn't shine, I'm not that motivated to do much of anything, especially with a sick kiddo. Reagan has been coughing her head off for 2 days, poor kid. I just wish when people are sick they would stay home and get well instead of going out and spreading their germs around. No one needs to be sick, especially a 2 year old that doesn't know how to blow her nose!!! Just a little pet peeve of mine. To catch you up... in the last week we have made ornaments with fellow moms and kids from my early childhood group to take to my Grandpa's nursing home, we ventured to Penitentiary Glen to partake in Snowdrop's Adventure game, went to The Farmpark for Country Lights, and finally had a little surprise shindig with some of Bill & Sam's oldest BFF's for their birthdays at a local restaurant.
Phew. I'm tired just reading it. Oh yeah, in between I got Christmas cards mailed, wrapped almost all the gifts, made 3 collage boards with Deb for the party and kept the kids fed and clean. I have posts started about Snowdrop's Adventure and Country Lights, but they will keep until another day. It is cold, sleeting outside, and I want to get in bed with my book. For those of you that are thinking good thoughts for our oldest fur-kid, Chandler. He is hanging in there. He is literally shrinking in front of our eyes, but he has started to come back into bed with Bill and I at night and is purring and receptive to being held. He drinks alot, but doesn't eat much and I know he is not long for this world. I just don't think either of us can make the step to send him off just yet since he is not in visible pain. The other day Reagan was coming down the stairs and Chandler was at the bottom of the steps and she said, "Aw, Chandler is an old kitty. He's going to have to go bye-bye soon." I know she is right, not sure how she knows it though as the only thing I have told the kids is that they have to be extra careful around him and to make sure they don't fall on him or step on him.