Friday, April 15, 2011
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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 orgjunkie.com 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?
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Sunday: Tacos (family fav)
Monday: BBQ chicken & potatoes in the crockpot; broccoli on the side
Tuesday: Jerry won't be home until 10 tonight so I am making the kids pancakes.
Wednesday: Chicken Tamales* in the crockpot and Spanish Rice
Thursday: Turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans
Friday: hurmph I don't know. There were no good deals on meat this week and I can't think of anything not chicken or turkey related......
Saturday: Turkey and Rice Soup with corn bread
*check back - I'm going to give my recipe and explain how I use the crockpot.
Special Thanks to Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday. Go check 'er out!
What are you having for dinner this week??
I am in desperate need of menu ideas for chicken..... what's your best recipe?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Daddy, did they even have tv when you were little?
Mommy, is this the first song ever made when Daddy was a boy? (although I can't remember what song were were listening to, I do remember it was popular when I was in high school)
You didn't have cell phones when you were little? How did people call you? The house phone son. Ummm, but what if you weren't home? You could only talk to people if you were at home?
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I placed my order and got my change. There was a lady in front of me waiting for her food so I watched the people making stuff. And watching one worker clean the counters. She had gloves on as not to get the chemicals in the sanitation bucket on her hands. I wouldn't want that stuff on my hands either - that stuff probably is toxic! Oh, well now there were two orders - better make this lady's stuff. She tossed the rag back into the bucket and proceeded to make my food.
Anybody notice she didn't get new gloves on???
So I say "Umm, excuse me!" And she looks at me.
"I just watched you put your hands in that dirty water to wash the counters and then you are touching my food. REALLY???"
She rollled her eyes. Then she threw my food away. Her boss says what's wrong and she told her what I had said. I watched her put new gloves on and remake my food.
I will still go to Taco Bell but I will watch those people like crazy. That was ridiculous. Like, I'm glad they are cleaning their counters and all; but don't touch my food with that nasty water.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Minestrone soup and cornbread
Tacos with Spanish Rice
Baked Chicken with AuGratin Potatoes and broccoli
Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans
Lasagna with garlic bread
BBQ chicken with noodles and corn
What's on your menu this week?
Friday, February 4, 2011
1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped carrot
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c margarine
1/4 c flour
2 c chicken broth
1 c half & half
1 c cooked rice
1/2 c chopped cooked turkey
Cook celery, carrot, and onion in maragine until tender. Stir in flour. Add chicken broth, cook, and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in half & half, rice, and turkey. Heat through.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 side dish servings.
NOTE: Obviously I double/triple up on these measurements to serve it as a main dish. I also don't measure the veggies. Just cut up them up according to our family's taste. And I've used chicken when I don't have turkey. And I usually use the boil-in-a-bag rice. You don't have to use half & half; I've used milk just added less so it still gets thick.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine sliced peaches with juice, 2 tablespoons melted butter, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Dissolve cornstarch in water, then stir into peach mixture; set aside.
In another bowl, combine milk, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until smooth - mixture will be thin.
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a 9x13 inch pan. Pour batter over melted butter. Spoon peaches over batter. Sprinkle top with additional cinnamon and nutmeg.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until knife inserted comes out clean.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Monday: Pizza (frozen :()
Tuesday: Turkey, mashed potatoes, and green beans. And I'm making an apple crisp for dessert.
Thursday: Penne and meatballs with garlic bread. Also a peach crumble for dessert.
Friday: Chicken, baked potatoes, and corn
Saturday: Beef stroganoff with noodles and broccoli. I'm also making a vanilla pudding pie with chocolate icing and animal cracker crust.
Sunday: Turkey and rice soup. Check back later for the recipe
What's on your menu??
Friday, January 28, 2011
I made this chili one day last week and it was pretty yummy. Jerry would have like it to have a little more kick but it was great for the kids and I. It's from a cooking segment on GMA.
Chicken Enchilada Chili
1 1/2 cups prepared enchilada sauce
2 (14.5-ounce) cans tomatoes with seasoning
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto or kidney beans with juice (or 1 cup dry pinto beans, soaked overnight)
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, diced, or 1 tablespoon dried minced onion flakes
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds chicken (thighs, legs, breasts—your choice)
shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for serving (optional)
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the enchilada sauce and tomatoes into the bottom of the removable stoneware insert. Add the beans, celery, onion, and spices, and stir to combine. Place the chicken on top. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the flavors have combined. If you are using dry beans, you may need to cook longer to fully soften the beans. If your chicken has bones, fish the bones out before serving. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Mental issues run in my family. There is a history of depression, ADD, ADHD, bi-polar disorder, and anxiety disorders. The majority of these in just myself. And I appear to have passed some on to my sons.
Andrew has ADD. We put him on a non-stimulant medication for a while in first grade but his teacher didn't think it was doing what it should have for him. As we were going into the summer I decided not to leave him on it. If we needed to I would put him back on it at the beginning of the school year. Second grade went without a hitch until late March. At that point I decided we weren't putting him on meds for the last 2 months of school - that was ridiculous. Third grade has been going well. We have struggled some in math but I attribute that more to comprehension then the ADD. It just takes us extra time to review the math "principles" but he gets it in the end.
Nathan has not been so easy to "control". We are now taking him to a neurological psychiatrist to get his little brain scanned. It will tell us what is actually the case. I'm nervous. The power of the internet is not good for parents. I have googled so much, including Autism. What if that's where he's at? What will that mean for his life? What will that mean for my life? By no means do I think he is extreme but maybe on the spectrum. Or it could be ADD; or bi-polar disorder; or possibly something that has not even entered my thoughts.
I have resisted the medication for him because I myself have been on and off medication starting at age 5. I don't like it. I hate that it changes who I am. I don't want it to change Nathan. Medication will change his mood swings and the anger issues, which is good. But is it going to change his loving side too? Will it make him stop crawling up in my lap just to cuddle? Will it make him stop playing his DS to give me a hug and say I love you? I have tried to help him with his diet and added structure here at home. It just is not enough. I have been defeated. Following his appointment in 2 weeks he will end upon medication.
It makes me sad that Nathan will forever be changed.
And if Nathan is going to be shoved on medication then it is only fair that I get back on mine. Even if it changes me.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Tuesday: Meatballs with gravy and mashed potatoes
Wednesday: Cheddar Burgers with sweet potato fries & salad
Thursday: Artichoke Chicken (crockpot) with penne & corn
Friday: Tomato soup with Grilled cheese
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Disclaimer: This contains some spoilers!
Yesterday the kids and I watched Toy Story 3. It was a great way to wrap up the series.
The overall message was different for me as a mother than it was for my kids. It made me think how in 10 years Andrew will be going off to college. Or at the very least leaving this home for a "real life". It made me sad. The movie made me think of how we have been collecting these toys since each one of them was born and thrown away or donated so many toys. There will come a day when they won't look twice at them. Pretty soon their rooms will be covered in posters of what I will only be able to say at that point is "really, boys?? ugh". For the boys I am sure it will be of girls in bikinis or the Sports Illustrated cover. For Annabelle I can only hope it's Marky Mark in his Calvin Kleins.
Andrew and Annabelle could have cared less about the "story". Nathan on the other hand..... Has a soft heart for Big Baby.
After Lots-O-Hugs Bear, Big Baby and the clown were lost by their owner Daisy, LotsO turned evil and started his dictatorship. Toward the end of the movie LotsO ripped the "My Heart Belongs to Daisy" necklace off Big Baby's neck and smashed it. Telling Big Baby Daisy never loved him and replaced him. Blah blah blah about the story.... It all turned out well in the end. Ken & Barbie rule Sunnyside Daycare and Barbie takes care of Big Baby.
Everything was fine until Nathan was done brushing his teeth and I was tucking him into bed. He threw himself on the bed and started sobbing. Like whole body shaking, sobbing. After a few minutes of trying to figure out what was wrong it's cause LotsO broke Big Baby's necklace and Big Baby was crying. Nathan feels so sad for Big Baby. I explained everything was okay. Barbie takes care of Big Baby now. LotsO isn't a nice bear and is now stuck on the front of a dump truck. He just can't take it. He cried for half an hour.
It made me smile on the inside. My rough and tumble big boy has such a soft heart for those who can't do for themselves. He actually cares about others. And for anyone that knows him knows that he isn't always warm and fuzzy. And it gives me hope that I am not completely failing at raising a good hearted child.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Monday: Chicken Enchilada Chili (crockpot) (from GMA)
Tuesday: Tamales & Spanish Rice (tamale recipe to come)
Wednesday: Ham & mac-n-cheese & broccoli
Thursday: Cheddar Burgers & Salad (recipe to come)
Saturday: Tortellini & pasta sauce & garlic bread
Sunday: Chicken Noodle Soup & corn muffins
I am linking up with orgjunkie.com who hosts Menu Plan Monday every Monday. Go check her out and see all the other ladies that plan too!
What's on your menu this week??
Thursday, January 13, 2011
My brother deployed with his unit on January 5. He is currently in Okinawa, Japan. At the end of the month they will board the ship and come into port in numerous locations. I downloaded Skype so we are able to talk to him still. Which is completely awesome. Andrew loves being able to talk to him. As do the rest of us. I mean, we know he's good where he is; but there's just something about being able to hear his voice. It's great.
Jerry has officially won the trip to Puerto Rico. We will be going sometime in April. He is super excited about it. I on the other hand, am somewhat nervous. That is far away from the kids for such a long time. They will be fine I know but, ya know, I won't be there if they need me.
It has been snowing off and on here. We don't have nearly as much as they do out East. Just a couple of inches. And as I type this the big, fat, puffy snowflakes are flying.
Andrew has joined an afterschool club. It's about sports. Teaching them what? I'm not so sure. We just blindly signed him up cause it said sports. Yay for involved parenting! lol
Nathan had a rough couple of days starting back to school but things are turning around now. He's a good boy when he wants to be.
Annabelle is starting to repeat more of the things we are saying. And she understands the things we tell her. She is very good about picking up her toys when we tell her.
I am continuously trying to find the motivation to keep the house picked up. After the holidays everything is just so anticlimactic. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong but who cares. I have been trying to find new recipes to feed the family. Some are hits, some are misses. The hits, I plan to share here.
Monday, January 10, 2011
I am linking up with Menu Plan Monday over at orgjunkie. You should hop over there and look at the other menu plans that other ladies have prepared. And add your own if you are so inclined :)
Breakfasts will consist of oatmeal, coco wheats, toast, eggs, and I'll prolly make the family some biscuits and gravy
Lunch: The kids are at school. The baby and I will prolly eat sandwiches or dinner leftovers
Dinner: Monday - frozen pizza for the husband and kids. I have a PTO meeting tonight and will prolly grab some snacky something when I get home.
Tuesday - Grilled Shrimp & peppers fajitas with Spanish Rice
Wednesday - Country Style Pork Ribs (crockpot; recipe to follow) with cauliflower
Thursday - Artichoke Chicken (crockpot; recipe to follow) with boiled potatoes and green beans
Friday - Meatballs with gravy & broccoli
Saturday - Steak Stir Fry
Sunday - Baked ham, mashed potatoes, cheesy green beans
What are you eating this week?
Sunday, January 9, 2011
LET ME SAY THIS NOW: I DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, APPROVE OF THE N WORD, FOR ANYONE.
So, it started out with A putting her status that she didn't think the language in Huck Finn should not be changed because it is a part of history and that's how things were then. A friend of her's, V, said that A was ignorant, said the F word a couple of times and that Huck Finn should be changed because it is offensive and repressive to black people. J asked her if rap music should be changed then? V said rappers put an "a" at the end of it so it's okay; it's not the same. I said then I think nonwhite people should not be allowed to say cracker or cracka. Only white people are allowed. V continued to talk about ignorant people and us having our GED's. All the while spelling incorrectly. I pointed this out. Telling her her post may have delivered more of the sass she was going for if she knew how to spell correctly or at the very least double checked her work. She said she was typing on a Blackberry so that makes incorrect spelling okay.
She continuously missed the point. We all agreed with her that the N word is offensive to everyone and should not be used by anyone. But we don't think that changing every book in history is appropriate.
So, I open this up to you. What is your stance on changing the Mark Twain books? Not your stance on using the N word. We all agree that noone should use it.