trying to achieve perfection with less than stellar results

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ashes to Ashes

There is no way to ease into this….

My Grandfather died at 10:37pm on April 9, 2011. He was 81 years young. My grandparents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May 2010.

I feel the need to write something about him but don’t know where to start or what to share and what not to. Some dates/times might be off slightly. Things are running together. Those of you reading this may or may not know my grandfather. And some of you may feel I am sharing too many details, that possible strangers don’t need to know. But this is my process. You can quit reading at any time.

He has been back and forth to the doctor’s office since Christmas. With one thing or another. Looking back they are signs that maybe someone should have put together. You know, like a doctor or somebody. But that is another angry post for another day.

Starting March 19 he was in and out of the hospital; mostly in. It started with some stomach issues. He was discharged from the hospital Saturday. My mom brought him down to the hospital again on Sunday and he was admitted. We found out he had blood clots in his bladder. I took my daughter up to see him on Monday. She ended up eating half his lunch. She sat on the end of his bed and he fed her. He said the hospital food was no good, so he fed it to my daughter! Thanks, Grandpa! My Grandfather doesn’t like hospitals and was getting quite anxious being there. I spent the night with him on March 22. It wasn’t a terrible night and I now am grateful for the time to share with him. Just him and I.

They discharged him on Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday evening he was in so much pain in his back. Late Wednesday night or the wee hours of Thursday morning he was admitted back to the hospital. Tests were run. Blood samples taken. CAT scans. Bone scans. Urine tests. Every test under the sun. And the answer came back. Lymphoma. But we were hopeful. Maybe there would be something we could do. Radiation or chemo. Something.

Sunday he was discharged again. I was there to drive my Grandfather home from the hospital. And we got him settled. Later that night he fell and cut his head. My aunt and grandmother took him to the Urgent Care connected to his doctor’s office. His doctor said he was too sick to be at home. He needed to be admitted back into the hospital.

He was admitted again on Monday morning. He had a biopsy on Wednesday. And the preliminary results came in that it was a fast progressing cancer. We were told or found out through our own research that this usually comes to an end in a few weeks. Saturday morning I called my grandfather and told him I loved him. I was leaving for a week the next day and I expected him to be out of the hospital when I got home. He said he was good. And told me he loves me three times in my 30 second phone call with him. Saturday early afternoon the oncologist told my mom that death was not immanent but she should start the process of getting my brother home from Japan. He is a Marine. Just like my grandfather was. And that my sister should come home sooner rather than later. She booked a flight for April 16. Friday, April 8 was my grandfather's last fabulous day. He was pain free, up walking around, and being his usual self.

Jerry and I were supposed to leave for Puerto Rico for a trip he won through work on Sunday, April 10. We decided to still go as we were told things would not end soon. A few hours later my mom called to tell me that my grandfather was forgetting to breathe. He was saying he needed to go. They were going to let him go to sleep and it would all probably be over soon. That was around 7:30pm. I got the phone call about 10:45 that he was gone.

The next 3 days were a blur. His funeral was April 12. I shared some memories of him at my grandmother’s request. That was not easy. I don’t do that kind of thing. I usually say funny things, one-liners. That’s how I cope. I will share more memories of him later. My sister read a letter that my brother wrote to him. That was hard. It moved everyone to tears. Things wrapped up and we went outside for the military honors. THAT WAS HARD. There was a 21 gun salute that made my sister and I jump. And brought us both to tears. We watched them fold the flag and thought of my brother. They had better do that right or Paul would be pissed! A Marine that graduated with my brother presented the flag to my grandmother. He is being cremated so his intournment won't be until June when my brother is back from Japan.

Afterwards we all went to my grandparent’s church for a luncheon. It was nice. Nice to have those people there to remember my grandfather and comfort my grandmother.

All in all? This past week has sucked.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pillow Talk

Jerry and I both have 3 pillows on our respective sides of the bed. So that's a total of 6 pillows (for those of us who aren't math majors) on our queen size bed. The kids are constantly in there during the day messing with them. The other night when Jerry and I made our way to bed there were only 4 pillows left. I had all 3 of mine. Jerry had one. Andrew had taken one to his bed. And Annabelle was using one on the couch*. Jerry decided to just try to stick it out with his lonely pillow. The following conversation happened about 2 am.

Jerry: Honey.....

Me: hmmm

Can I have one of your pillows?

No, go get yours from Annabelle. She's right on the couch.

No. Her's the booful booful. Her's seepin'.

Ugh. (moves around - gives pillow to Jerry - gets readjusted)


Umhumm. I just hope she doesn't loose circulation in her little finger.

Huh? What?

Yeah, you know, the little finger she has you wrapped around......

Whatever Becca. Shut up.

That man is a sucker for his little girl. *Annabelle sometimes sleeps on the couch because she doesn't want to go back to her own bed if she wakes up in the night. And I don't want her sleeping in mine. This is my compromise with her.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Holding On To Make Believe

On St. Patrick's Day Louie the Leprechan came to Nathan's school. He wrote a note on the board; something about "teeheehee". And left little foot prints everywhere. Louie also left gold coins from his pot at the end of the rainbow. The school does a lot for St. Patrick's Day; they even have green food for lunch.

Nathan brought two coins home. He was very adamant that they were real gold and he could buy stuff with them. Andrew wanted to squash his dreams. He told Nathan that leprechans aren't real, those coins aren't real, and it's all made up. Andrew told Jerry and I that he knows those things (ie Santa, the Toothfairy, leprechans) aren't real. Nathan just kept telling Andrew he was going to go buy something with his monies.

Jerry and I still want to hold onto this part of the kids' childhood. We especially don't want anything to be ruined for Annabelle. And Nathan isn't ready to give up make believe yet. So we did what any normal *ahem* parent would do.

We went to GameStop, talked to the man behind the counter, and prepaid for Lego Star Wars III that they had reserved weeks ago. We picked the boys up from school on Tuesday and headed to GameStop. We told them both that the game was out and we had to go pick it up. The boys went to the counter and told Jeremy they had reserved Lego Star Wars III and were there to pick it up. Jeremy rang it up, told Nathan the price, he handed over his gold coin, and got his and game and receipt. He was beyond excited! Andrew's mouth just dropped.

Andrew still can't figure out how the was no real money exchanged. He now questions his nonbeliefs.

If this is what we have to do to keep the magic alive then we will continue to do so. Childhood is ending too quickly these days and I want to hold onto it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 21

It's that time again! I'm hooking up with I'm An Organizing Junkie. Go check her out there are hundreds of other menu plans for your inspiration.

Sunday: Tacos

Monday: Sweet & Sour Meatballs, stirfry veggies, and rice

Tuesday: Salsa & Ranch Chicken (from A Busy Mom's Crockpot Cooking Adventures), orzo, corn, and strawberry shortcake for dessert

Wednesday: Turkey & Rice soup

Thursday: Baked Chicken, gnocchi, broccoli & cauliflower

Friday: Ham & Potato soup, blueberry muffins

What's on your menu?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - March 14 Birthday Edition!

Happy Monday folks! Our menu is great this week because I don't need to buy anything! I'm super excited about that!

Monday: Ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans. As requested by the prince who turns 9 TODAY! I am also making a chocolate cake with peanut butter chocolate frosting; in the shape of a football, again at his request.

Tuesday: Sweet & Sour meatballs (in the crockpot) with brown rice and stir fry veggies

Wednesday: Tacos

Thursday: Turkey, stuffing, and broccoli

Friday: Ham and potato soup (I'll share the recipe later this week! Check back)

Saturday: Chicken enchiladas and Spanish rice

Sunday: Turkey and rice soup with corn muffins

Need more inspiration? Head over to I'm An Organizing Junkie for more menu plans!

What's on your menu?

Our Prince Turns 9

Today is Andrew's ninth birthday. It's amazing where the time has gone. I feel so much love, excitement, sadness, amazement, and hope for the future I cannot articulate very well this morning. But I still want to mark this SUPER special day.

My dear sweet prince,

Happy 9th birthday. Although you think you are turning 19.

You bring so much joy to your father and I. Even with your sassy little mouth. You have come so far and appear to be turning into a man in front of my eyes. Daddy and I always joke who gets to take you with them when we run away. Words cannot express our love for you.

Mommy and Daddy love you more every day.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~ February 28, 2011

It's rainy and dreary here and has zapped my motivation. I actually went grocery shopping last Thursday because there was pork ribs and ham on sale. Okay, let's jump in....

Sunday: Chicken tacos with Spanish rice

Monday: Grilled Cheese and tomato soup (Simple, because I have a PTO meeting)

Tuesday: BBQ Ribs and potatoes in the crockpot with veggies

Wednesday: Turkey with mashed potatoes and corn

Thursday: Pasta Primavera

Friday: Turkey and Rice soup with corn muffins

Saturday: Farmhouse Chicken with carrots and rice

Thanks to Laura at for hosting Menu Plan Monday. Jump over there and check out the hundereds of others that share their menus every week.

What's on your menu?