Tuesday, May 31, 2011

4 good days

• I took the day off on Friday to give myself a 4 day weekend, and planned on doing work in the basement because there are just boxes of clothes everywhere, but Hub ended up having a work emergency that required me doing some running around for him, so he suggested that I take my mom out for lunch since I would be nearby. I took her to Panera and we had a really nice time. Then, after I dropped her off I stopped at Target, (the closest one to my house that I never go to because I don’t like the neighborhood, AND it is always overrun with Canadians and is super busy) and because they are remodeling to add grocery, EVERYTHING was on sale or on clearance. I spent $100 and got the girls sandals and dresses and a few outfits for Liv, plus several t-shirts for Bud. The best find was a long hippie-esque sundress for Lu, which she loves and wore ALL weekend. $8. They had other styles and I just might go back to see if they’re still there. Then, Hub was working late so I decided to take the kids out for dinner. We just had hotdogs and shakes, but it was a nice time together.
• My girlfriend and I went to the NKOTBSB concert on Saturday, (judge if you must) and because we did just see NKOTB 2 summers back, we decided we were just going to buy the cheap seats and go and have a good time. We knew they were kind of the nose bleeds, but it was quite a surprise when we arrived to find that we were in the 2nd to last row of the entire arena. We were making the best of it when we were approached by a man with an arena name badge and a handful of tickets. He asked if we were alone and when we said we were, he asked if we’d like to move. I was all “HELL YES!” while my friend was making sure it wasn’t a scam. He handed us tickets to move all the way down in the center. We sat in ROW 8. It was freaking amazing. We had a fabulous night, from drinks beforehand to riding the subway there and back. I really needed a night like that.
• We didn’t think we were going to make a ton of progress in the garden this past weekend because it has rained 24/7 for what seems like weeks on end, but Sunday morning looked bright (especially bright in my post concert haze), and we decided to go to our favorite garden center and at least get the flowers for the front of the house. Last year was the first year we even had a flower bed out front, and I never ended up planting anything, so I was excited to get it going. I bought a hydrangea, which I’d been wanting forever and 2 other perennials, plus my mom gave me a gerbera daisy she got. I filled in with some other flowers, and it looks really nice. Next weekend: Veggies!!
• Yesterday we spent the day with Hub’s cousins for a Memorial Day/Birthday party and somehow decided that we are going to do a family camping trip in June. It’s just the kind of thing that I always wanted to do as a kid and I think our kids will really enjoy it. And I’m glad we are close with Hub’s cousins and that we have kids who are the same age to grow up with.

Monday, May 23, 2011


If you follow me on Twitter, or if we are friends on Facebook, you are likely aware of the events of the last week or so. In the event that you aren’t though, let me catch you up. Last Saturday morning, FIL passed away somewhat unexpectedly. I tweeted about it a few times. Gave vague Facebook updates, but really I didn’t say much. I especially didn’t write about it here because that would make it too real. This is a very very bad time for us.

Last Friday, Hub spent the whole day with FIL, carrying him out of and then back in to the house after 5 or so hours at the pain management clinic. They came home with a plan, new meds and with hope that he would be able to make it out of his chair to shower. We left a message with his primary doctor to get a prescription for a wheelchair so he could go outside with the kids. Hub was looking in to what needed to be done to build a ramp outside for him and was going to call Hospice for home care on Monday morning. Hub got him set up with the new meds—2 patches and a dissolvable pill. He made him drink a Boost because he’d barely eaten or had anything to drink all day.

The kids had been bugging us to have a fire in the yard complete with marshmallows and so we did. Hub and I even had a few drinks. We were optimistic that FIL would be feeling better in the morning. The whole week was just too much for him to handle pain wise and he’d had conversations with Hub and me both through tears. He wasn’t even dragging himself down the stairs and outside to smoke. If this didn’t work, nothing would. By the time we were done outside and had the kids in bed, it was midnight. We closed up the house and Hub checked in on FIL before we went to bed. He was comfortable, didn’t need anything and they argued about him putting his oxygen on per usual. We went to bed.

I am usually the first one up on Saturdays. I can’t sleep in anymore and I have things to do before taking the girls to gymnastics. Because of our late night though, I laid in bed and Hub got up first. He immediately went to check on FIL. I heard him asking “Dad? Dad??” and part of me knew and got out of bed, but until he came in to the living room white as a ghost and told me that he thought his dad was dead did I believe it. I can’t explain the feeling that came over me; my knees weak and I knew I had to sit down. I did, but only for a brief second. Hub was calling 911 and the kids were waking up. We decided that I would take them out of the house, earlier than planned, take them to breakfast, and basically just have a normal Saturday. We didn’t want them around when the coroner came or when police or ambulances showed up. We left in our pajamas and changed in the McDonalds bathroom. People probably thought we were vagabonds. I didn’t care.

Hub called our friend M who has an undertaker friend. M came to sit with Hub and helped him make phone calls. Hub’s aunt came and sat as well. Police arrived and confirmed that it looked like a massive heart attack. It took hours, but the undertaker finally came and took him away. I kept a brave face for the kids, and just focused on getting through the morning. I don’t think they suspected a thing. M’s wife insisted that I bring the kids to her house after gymnastics and I did, and we all had lunch. Hub met us and ate a bit, and then we took the kids home. We had them sit on the couch, and Hub told them what had happened.

If I thought before that Lucy’s cries in the hospital after we told her MIL had passed away would haunt me for the rest of my life, I certainly never expected things could be worse. Bud handled MIL’s death with grace. Both he and Lu were hysterical about FIL. I get it too. He was their (especially Bud’s) very best buddy. More than a grandpa. More than a friend. Their everyday life was not just Mom and Dad, but was Mom, Dad and Grandpa. In an instant, our entire family dynamic changed.

We spent Saturday night with Hub’s family, and the kids went back there on Sunday while we planned the funeral. It was odd taking our kids somewhere to be watched…they’ve always just stayed home. We planned the funeral, flew Hub’s sister in, had the funeral on Wednesday and basically went about our everyday business. We could hardly believe on Saturday that it had already been a week. A whole week. And now we have the whole rest of our lives to figure out.

We moved in with FIL in 1999. I wasn’t keen on living with my boyfriend’s father, but it was cheap and it was a house. He retired in 2004 when Bud was born to help us out with childcare costs and continued watching both kids a few days a week until Lucy was mobile and it was too much for him. After that though, he was our nighttime sitter, before and after school care—Liv’s prime occupier. We’ve known nothing else for 12 years. I don’t know how to manage my family without that third set of hands. Even as his condition worsened, he was able to be home for Bud and Lucy after school. He couldn’t watch Liv anymore, but that was ok.

Now? Now we have nothing. We were more than blessed. We’re both kind of asking “now what?”. Hub doesn’t know how to live a life without his dad with whom he lived for 30 or his 35 years. My kids don’t know how to live life without grandpa, the ever present from the moment they were born. I don’t know how to be in a house that is so quiet and feels so empty without the TV blaring, or oxygen machine going, or someone standing in the exact one place that I need to stand with no sense of the fact that they are in the way. I am not a fan of this at all.

And the fact that it still seems so unreal. How much is it going to hurt when it’s really real?

My guess is a lot.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Hub met me at the airport so late on Friday night that It was almost Saturday, with a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee. “Real coffee”, he said, since he knew I’d been drinking Starbucks mud all week. Late as it was, I was grateful. He’s a keeper, that one.

All things considered, I had a pretty good week. My flights last Sunday were full of turbulence, but not horrible. I was able to get a window seat on the long flight in to LA, and spent it alternating looking out the window and watching a movie. I marveled at how brown New Mexico and Arizona seemed from the sky. I sat next to a guy with the longest legs EVER, so long that they invaded my space, but still, I did ok and only got up to pee once. After retrieving our things at LAX, my friends and I spent the rest of the day in Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.

The work part of the trip was not half bad either. I mean, any time you get 15 project managers in a room, all passionate about their particular subject and way of doing things it can be a bit crazy, and it was. But I guess in the good sense of crazy. The summit, as we called it was jam packed with learning and mapping out our new process to kick off the project that we will be running until the end of July (a project that will have me going in to the actual office at least 3 days a week, but that is a post for another day), but because of the sheer volume of knowledge, we had a good break schedule, and we were out no later than 5 every day. We only had one scheduled dinner the whole time we were there, so our evenings were basically free to do whatever we wanted. I saw more of Hollywood, went shopping, and spent an evening in Malibu.

This was quite the concept for me, as I’m sure you can imagine. Do you know when the last time that I had no obligations after work was? When I could go out to dinner, and not worry about being back to put someone to bed, or make tomorrow’s lunches or do the dinner dishes? It’s been a long time. We’d go out for the night, and then come back and sit around the fire at the hotel and relax before going to bed. I missed my family terribly, but it was sure nice to be on my own for a while.

The last night after seeing a movie in a VIP lounge, my friend K and I had drinks out on the patio at the hotel. When I went in to get 2 more, the bartender was closing up for the night, but still agreed to make the drinks. He made them extra strong, and didn’t charge me. I stayed up too late, drank too much, and passed out in bed without even packing up. Friday morning came early, and I basically threw all my stuff in to my suitcase so I could head in to work for an hour before the shuttle came to take us to the airport.

And just like that, it was over. I wasn’t able to change my seat for the plane ride back, but sat between 2 much smaller people so I was a bit more comfortable. We flew all day, but it seemed like I was home in an instant. As if I never left, I relaxed on the couch for a few minutes, wiped down the kitchen counters, and took the cats their (very late) dinner. I was exhausted, but still had a hard time sleeping. The girls expected me to take them to gymnastics in the morning, so I did.

I’m still not unpacked, I’m still totally on west coast time, and I have a very busy week ahead of me. But I am home and I am glad.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I had planned on writing an entire post tonight, but after 8 hours in the air yesterday, and then a full day of tourism afterward, plus work and then some more fun tonight, I am totally wiped. I’m having a good time so far though. We’ve been to Hollywood, Santa Monica, Rodeo Drive, Sprinkles Bakery and tonight to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. So yeah, like I said—so worn out.
I talked to the kids when I left work tonight, and they were getting ready for bed, and I was fine talking to the big kids, but talking to the baby on the phone just tore me up. “Whatcha doing?”, she asked. I told her I missed her very much and she said :I miss you too very much, Mama. And I love you very much.” And then I fell over dead.
So, 2 days away and I miss my small people.
I did not end up pre-packing their lunches, in case you were wondering. Hub has it under control. But I did leave their clothes out.
I texted Hub, my mother and my brother tonight at a little after 8 PM. At the time it didn’t even register that they might not be awake since at home, it was after 11. Oops. Then we got lost in the Hollywood hills, so there was that. It was kind of hilarious.
This did turn in to a bit of a post after all, huh? Let’s have a few pictures for posterity.