Thursday, May 31, 2007


Oh my gosh - I am loving the ages of my kids. For many reasons but not the least of which is I am finding I can sneak in a few minutes here and there for reading. Reading has been a lost love for me over most of the past five years. I had a few good months in there when Kelton was about two and a half and I was pregnant with Kaylen. During those autumn evenings and stolen daytime moments I managed to read four, count 'em, four books!

And then came baby #2 and every since the books I have been wanting to read are piling up on my dresser. Sad, but true.

I recently started getting my two favorite parenting magazines again (a birthday gift from Dakota's mom) and I have managed to find time to read them before the next months arrives. No small feat around here considering Dakota's work, school and study schedule permits for very few (did I get any this past school year?) child free hours. So now that I know I can get through magazines within just a few days I decided to make the leap and buy a couple of books. Yes, I said couple. As in two. It's a bold move but I have faith......and 14 weeks in which to try to read them before the next school year starts. :)

In one of the previously mentioned parenting magazines I saw a snip-it for a book and I was intrigued. The title alone made me run for the computer to do a search. It's called "I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids". How could you not love that title?

I scanned through the pages on Amazon and liked what I saw. I'm too impatient for mail order though if I can run out and pick it up locally so I called Borders and they held a copy for me. I raced over after Dakota arrived home from work.

While there, child free, I looked around for a few minutes. I happened upon another book that looks pretty interesting. "The Birthdays" Now, to be honest, it may have been the cover that was calling me - could is look any more relaxing? I can't wait to start it....but first things first.

As soon as I arrived home I plopped down in a chair on the patio and cracked open the first book. I read through a bit of it while the kids played in the yard and I am seriously loving it. I can't wait to get back to it.

Reading. I'm actually reading. That's so cool. :)
Political Post

Tammy Lynn has a really good post on her blog. This is a mere small section that I am cutting and pasting. Anyone want to join me in joining her in sending postcards?

**section snip**
postcards. i wonder if it would do more to send the post cards to the white house or to nancy pelosi? i bet if i mailed a shitload of postcards to nancy... and the other folk who work with her... i bet there'd be something- if nothing else, at least a BLOG about the effort right? i can write a postcard. i can get a stamp. i can do this. i can buy 100 postcards, i can buy 100 stamps. i can mail one postcard a week, or one a day.... i can send them, tell my friends to send them, tell anyone to send them... millions.... a deluge of

i think nancy would listen. i do. i just looked up her contact info, and i'm going to use it. i think i'll email her and send postcards. emailing is quick, and cheap. postcards scream "I'm not effing kidding here". so i'll do both. on the postcard, i shall write only "IMPEACH"... and in my emails, the subject will read "IMPEACH" and inside it shall only read, "BUSH". i hope she understands these two go together... not that i want to impeach someone, AND make everyone a lezbo, but rather, "IMPEACH BUSH" is the entirety of the message.

i can't sit around slack-jawed at the incest and rape happening to our souls anymore, or i will need to start taking partial credit as to why our state is in such disarray. right?

postcards and emails. i might be the only one doing it, but dammit... one by one is better than none by none. hm... if my 1000 "impeach" postcards and emails get him out of office... well, rootbeer floats all around!

let's just see what happens. i'm going to believe this will work. believe it, know it, is is.

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
430 South Capital Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

impeach impeach impeach impeach impeach impeach
go go go go go go
go sisters go brothers
go go go go
go go
go !!!!!!!!!
**end snip**

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Conversation with the Boy Child

Him: Mom - you have the easiest job EVER.

Me: I do? *asked with a bit of shock in my voice*

Him: Yep. All you have to do is take care of us. That's not hard. It's not even really a job. Mom (Dakota) has a MUCH harder job than you. You don't even work.

Me: Wanna bet?

Him: Mom makes all the money so it's her money.

Me: Nope. It doesn't work that way. We're a family and she works at a job that pays her money so that our family has money to do the things we enjoy and want to do. I stay at home and take care of you two.

Him:'s not like YOU have a job. You are just with us all day.

At this point I handed him the phone and said "Go ahead and call Mom and ask her who *she* thinks has the harder job."

No surprise to me, Dakota told him that I absolutely have the hardest job.

It's nice to know I make it all look so easy though, isn't it? :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Weekend in Review

It's been a busy weekend for us. Dakota was off from work on Friday (normally her study day but since there is no school we get to claim another family day - at least for now) so we were lucky enough to get a four-day weekend. You just have to love that! :)

First on the "must do" agenda was tightening up the bolts on the play structure as well as finally adding the in-ground support. Thank goodness! I was sure that these two wild swingers of mine were going to knock the whole thing ever. Kelton can get going so high that it was literally lifting one end off the ground. Dakota assures me it would have taken a lot to knock it over but still - I'm glad to have it all tightened up and secure. At least until the boy's wild swinging once again loosens a bolt or two. :) As you can see, the kids were right in there helping. They both took their jobs *very* seriously. :)

The weather has turned least it was warm Friday and Saturday (and it is supposed to be warm again tomorrow) so Friday we went out and bought the much anticipated and greatly desired backyard pool. The kids were beside themselves waiting for the yard to be mowed and the pool inflated but finally it was time! The water was FREEZING but that didn't stop my two water babies. The next day the water was nice and warm so Dakota jumped in for fun with the kids.

Saturday evening we invited our wonderful neighbor, Rian, over for dinner. She was a tremendous help while I was away because, as you may remember, we have a house full of pets who needed to be cared for over the weekends Dakota was with us in Seattle and the evenings when Dakota was in school. Rian really came to the rescue and dinner was but a small token of thanks. The animals love her - which was quite evident. And a huge plus, Rian loves the kids and their antics didn't bother her one bit. It was a really nice and relaxing evening (and I'm sure the wine made it seem even more so. *grin*).

Yesterday was dishwasher installing day and it did not go as smoothly as we would have liked to have thought but we *did* get it installed. But seriously, what is a home repair story without a disaster? When we turned the water back on the new water supply hose burst into pieces and hot water flooded the kitchen. After using just about every towel we own, the mess was cleaned up (and the floor looks darn nice!) and Dakota headed back to Home Depot for a replacement line. "Gee - this never happens." they said...after all, the product is called "Flood Safe Auto Shutoff Connection". Ironic, no? The replacement part was just the ticket and the project was completely within moments. Quite the adventure but at least we saved ourselves the cost of a plumber. :) I'm sure all the towels and rugs needed to be washed and dried anyway. You know how dusty those things get when they just sit in linen closets unused month after month. *laughing*

Today we are having a stay at home day. Dakota and the kids are in Kelton's room playing who knows what but it sounds like they are having a great time and I am enjoying the peace and quiet of not hearing "MOOOOOMMMMMMMMYYYY!!!!" every few seconds. I hope you all have had a great weekend.

Happy official start to the summer season!

I don't agree with all. As I often tell my children; fighting never solves anything. I do, however, support every single man and woman who have served their country and who have had their lives taken from them. Every single day I am mindful of the families who have lost people they love. And for that reason I am flying my flag high today.

Memorial Day. I don't so much like to say "Happy Memorial Day" because for those who have lost loved ones, I'm sure this day isn't "happy" at all. Maybe my own pain is too fresh to see the "happy" in a day set aside to remember those who are no longer here or those who are here but are forever changed because of war. For whatever reason, I will just say this: I remember.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Look at the sweet goodness that a friend sent to me today. In the photo it is hard to tell but this beauty is a full 18 inches tall and has 20, count 'em 20, cookies (well ok - there are only 18 in the photo because the kids had already grabbed a couple)! The kids and I arrived home from a playdate this morning and found this sitting on the porch. I was barely able to get it into the kitchen before four little hands were scrambling for cookies. Kaylen went after the pink flowers (mostly picking off the accent frosting to shove in her mouth) and Kelton went after the gigantic chocolate chip cookies. I spied the lemon filled and frosted ones - yum yum yum!! :)

Thank you, dear friend! You sure knew how to brighten my day as well as the day of two little munchkins. You rock! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Every Day Drudgery of Real Life

There is nothing like it to keep you grounded. Before we left for Seattle I started having problems with our dishwasher. I believe it's original to the house which makes it about 28 years old so I guess it was bound to start acting up. I just have to laugh at its timing though. :)

For some reason, when I turned it there was no water entering the machine. I would fiddle with it and eventually the water would start. It was a pain in the rear but at least it worked once it got going. Fast forward to yesterday when I attempted to start the dishwasher after dinner. Fifteen minutes and a few choice words later, the darn thing started properly however when I went to unload it I ended up washing by hand a good portion of the load. Yeah - not my idea of a good time especially since the drying cycle baked things on really well.

After I put the dishes away I logged onto to see what I could find in the way of an inexpensive but in excellent working order dishwasher. I lucked out and tonight we picked up what I hope will be an easy to install, excellent-ly working dishwasher all for the low price of $80.00. It looks great - if that counts for anything - and the people who sold it are upgrading their recently newly built home (evidence of remodeling told that story). It's only 6 years old and I am going on great faith that it will serve us well for years and years to come.

Now all we have to do is install the thing. :)

Monday, May 21, 2007


Is that even a word? If not, it is now. :) It completely sums up how I'm feeling right now - totally unmotivated. *sigh*

I did manage to get all the toys unpacked. Somehow the amount of toys increased while we were away. I swear toys are like rabbits. You turn your back and more appear.

You should have seen the car yesterday. It was packed so tight that we could barely see the kids. Oh wait! You *can* see it. I have a picture on my phone. Let me email it to myself and post right back.

Ok - here are the pictures. I had taken these and sent them to my brother because the running joke was I was going to need a U-Haul to get back home. Keep in mind that I have a fairly large cargo area in my SUV and it was packed tight. I could barely see out the back window - certainly not enough for my own comfort level. Luckily I had Dakota in the passenger seat (equally packed down) to help check blind spots for lane changes.

See all those plastic bags? Those are filled with extra food, supplies, etc. that I hadn't had on the way up. There were far too many plastic bag that we had to find room for.

The squished kids. :)

Needless to say, there was a lot of unpacking to be done. We worked for more than 2 hours straight last night and there was still stuff to put away today. OY!

We are pretty settled in tonight - enough that I'm not going bonkers anyway.

Dakota came home from work early (school is out for the summer - yippie!) so I escaped for about an hour. I went to a local coffee shop, bought a coffee and read a magazine for a bit. Then I made a small grocery store run for things like milk, coffee creamer, eggs, etc. It was nice to get away but I have to say, I am still so darn tired! I mean bone tired. So tired that all I really want to do is crawl under the covers and sleep for a day...or three. I'm sure it's just all the stress catching up with me but man - I'm just so tired.

Tomorrow will be better.....
Funeral Flowers

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I'm home. Exhausted, overwhelmed and incredibly sad. But I'm home.

More later.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


It's raining today. It seems appropriate as this is the day we bury my mom.

I am motherless. It's such a bizarre concept.

Just breathe.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

It's been a hard day full of ups and downs for me. Many downs, few ups. I think my new manta should be "Don't think, just do." Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

*sigh* I just miss my mom being in the world. This bites.
The Everett Herald Obituary

Here is another obit for my mom. This one has a picture and I have to say, I like the write up format they use much better than the on-line Seattle Times version. The photo is one of my favorites of her as it's how she looks when I picture her in my mind. The whole photo has my dad in it too.

Oh shoot...I'll just post the real picture here.

I had a rough time sleeping last night. Could it be that it's all starting to be real?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Already posted on-line

I just checked The Seattle Times obit page and found my mom's listing. Wow.

*sigh* I can't believe Gilmore Girls is over. I am so going to miss this show - it's been a constant Tuesday night companion for seven years. SEVEN YEARS! Do you know how many changes in my life I have gone through in seven years? And yet - there were a few things I could always count on to hold rock steady and Gilmore Girls was one of them. This is so not right.

So not.

But in other news.....remember that video montage I told you that I had made for my mom's funeral reception? The pastor would like to play it during the service instead of just having it in a corner of the fellowship hall afterwards. Eeeek! I think it's cool but at the same time it's freaking me out a bit. Front and center is definitely a big jump from the small obscure corner I had pictured.

We are meeting the pastor tomorrow to go over details of the service. Tomorrow is also the first day the obituary runs in the papers. That is going to be so surreal to see.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Another Day; Another Park

This morning I dropped Kelton off at his cousin's house and then Kaylen and I met Lannon, James and Cara at the florist to order flowers for the funeral. I am amused at how people react to us. We are not your average mourning family, I guess. We tend to crack stupid jokes and use some dark humor. Everyone copes in their own ways and for us - around other people (and each other for the most part) we keep things light. I'm not one to cry in front of other people - and especially not strangers. Once people figure us out a bit, they too are much more lighthearted about things. I mean seriously people - I can only cry so much. My eyes are killing me and I have had a splitting headache for days and that is just for all the times I tear up and choke it all back. I can't imagine crying all day every day.

Anyway...we picked out the flowers and I returned to pick up Kelton. On the way I decided to take the kids to Build-A-Bear Workshop at the Alderwood Mall (which is just a couple blocks from our hotel). They had a blast and were so well behaved!! I had thought they would choose the less expensive animals but oh no! Not my two. They each fell in love with $20 bears and then had to get a sound thingy and clothes. Oh but the joy on their little faces - it was all worth it. Keltons' has shoes, too but given that it's bedtime and I sneaked the bears out of their beds, the shoes are not on. Kaylen's, of course, is wearing princess clothes. And what did they name their new friends? Rocky for the Kelton's and Princess for Kaylen's. :)

We came back to the hotel for lunch and then it was off to yet another park. We are staying only about 10 minutes from the house Dakota and I owned from 1996-2002 and there is a neighborhood park that we would often visit. It has a huge wooded area perfect for a long walk as well as a play area. The park isn't in the best of shape right now and I think the play area is waaaaay too close to the road (something I never noticed before since we didn't have a child yet) but the kids still had a good time.

We also drove by our old house. Incredibly, 5 years later, it looks exactly the same. The planter box I had on the porch is still there, so is the squirrel feeder, the bricking around the garden that we put in and the address number plaque that I made. We hung the shutters, the front door and the screen door. It is kind of trippy - like stepping back in time. The trees are bigger but basically - it's the same. I couldn't help myself - I just had to take a picture.

That house has a lot of memories tied up in it. It's where I broke my back and it's to where we brought Kelton home from the hospital. So many memories. So many.

So that's been today.

(PS..Wow. I just noticed the date. May 14th. The kids and I have been up here for one entire calendar month. We arrived April 14th (Kelton's 5th birthday). And that, of course, means my mom has been not part of this world for 3 days. 84 hours, to be exact. Feels like so much longer - on both counts.)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Crazy Times

It's been a strange few days. Friday the kids were buckled into their car seats and I was just putting the key in the ignition when James called to say my mom was gone. I'm ok about not being there for the actual event - I had already said my goodbyes ( a couple times) but it was still a shock to hear the words. Her pastor had arrived, said a prayer and right after "Amen" he said "She's gone." I'm happy for her that he was there to help her move on - he had been a regular fixture in the house the last 7 weeks so it feels right that he was there when it happened. He's a great guy and I really enjoyed the time I had spent with him and I know that he will take good care of my dad as Dad navigates through his grief.

Yesterday James, Lannon, Cara, my dad and I went to the funeral home to make arrangements. Holy smoke! What it costs to die is amazing!!! I knew it was expensive but wowsa! I'm not sure how people afford it - it was really mind blowing. $1200 for just walking in the door and sitting down with the people. And it just added on at every turn. My parents had done some pre-planning (and pre-paying) which was nice. No guessing as what type of headstone she wanted, that's for sure. :) But even so...the dollar amount made my head spin. And it isn't a final cost yet - there are still flowers to order, etc. Yikes.

I have to say though - the funeral home we are going through (the same place our entire family always uses) sure could use a method that was more time effecient. It took us 2.5 hours to do what really could have been done in about an hour. It was a bit crazy. I'm sure some people like all that time and whatnot but I'm thinking there are probably others (like us) who would be much more satisfied with an "express" service. Maybe electronic instead of handwritten. I joked about needing a kiosk...just walk up and select what services/products you would like. :)

The funeral service will be Saturday. Graveside in Seattle at 11:00 and then the church service in Everett at 1:00 with the reception to follow. The obituary will be in the Seattle Times/PI and the Everett Herald on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Today we met at the adult family home and packed up all my parents things and moved them to my dad's new apartment. It was weird. I thought it would be no big deal to walk into the house and go down the hall to their room but boy was I wrong. I didn't even make it half way down the hall before I had to go back outside to cry and get myself together. I spent a lot of time in the recent weeks sitting in that bedroom next to my moms bed and now....well..she wasn't there and it really rocked me.

Early last week I put the finishing touches on the video montage I created from photos spanning the time from my mom being an infant to just a couple weeks ago. It's 14 minutes 26 seconds long and (I think) really good. I burned it onto DVD's and gave copies to Lannon and James so they can watch (and have my dad watch) a few times before the funeral reception where it will be shown.

Dakota went home tonight and will be back Thursday afternoon. Even though we don't have the vacation time to spare, I really need her up here a day earlier than she would normally have come. I wish she could have just stayed this week. It would have helped me a lot but, as always, I'll just do what I can on my own.

I notified the hotel of our check-out date; the four of us will head back home next Sunday. Together. It's been a long time coming.

Thank you all for your kind words. It meant so much to me. It's a crazy ride, that's for sure. It rocks me hard whenever I slow down enough to think.

My mom is dead.

It just doesn't compute for me.....yet.
Happy Mother's Day!

And on a happy and uplifting note....Dakota made sure I had a really nice Mother's Day. I had gone out with the kids and picked up a card, a movie and a book for her but I had honestly thought she wouldn't think to pick anything up. Not because she isn't an amazing person but more because last week we agreed not to do anything since there was so much chaos taking place in our lives.

But surprise me she did!

I woke up to Kelton yelling "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!" I received three cards (!), a Starbuck's gift certificate and a Starbucks cup that I have been lusting over for months (it's the one that looks exactly like a Venti paper cup but it's ceramic. Just my coffee cup size...HUGE!). And even better - Dakota and Kelton had made me breakfast in bed. That was nice. Really nice!!

Sadly, because they let me sleep in a bit, we didn't have a lot of time to just enjoy the morning as we had to rush out to be at my parents old house to move the stuff to my dad's new apartment. Considering, though, that I had figured the day would be a non-event; I had a really great Mother's Day.

I hope all you mom's out there had a great day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

My mom passed away at 9:20AM today.
Here we go...

My brother called a few minutes ago. Things are progressing at a quickening pace. I'll be on my way up there soon and Dakota will meet us there.

Wish us well as we all begin our new journey.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Status Quo

Another day come and gone. O2 level is lower, heart rate is higher but things are mostly the same. Her temp is holding steady at 101.4. They say she was awake for a few moments in the morning but mostly sleeping a deep sleep.

Today is my dad's 69th birthday so we all gathered at the house and had a party in my moms room. Well..not so much a "party" but we sang Happy Birthday, talked a bit and had the gift opening. We'll see if that is what she was holding out for.

We also moved a bunch of my dad's stuff from storage (where it was placed 8 months ago when they moved from their "independent/assisted living" place to the adult family home) to his new apartment. I think he will like it there - it's a retirement community but he has his own 2 bedroom apartment as well as access to meals in the dining room and all the great activities and outings that retirement communities provide. He doesn't need the care provided at an adult family home - that was for my mom so it just makes sense to move him back out into a retirement community to live. He is happy about the place and happier still that it means he can get another cat (his went to live with James and Cara when they moved 8 months ago).

Something good to look forward to. Always a good thing.

Tomorrow is Friday which means Dakota arrives for the weekend. I really thought we'd be going home on Sunday but my mom clearly had other ideas. *sigh* Dakota is taking her last final tonight and then she is out of school until late August. I'm bummed that we are missing out on the first week when she will be going home after work instead of going to school but I am hopeful that we will only be missing the first week.

I wish Dakota could just stay with us next week but alas, she is on the job trail (and doing well tracking down "leads") and's not like we are swimming in vacation time anymore. So much for any sort of vacation this year. *sigh*

So there ya have it. Life from The Hampton Inn and Suites. Oh the excitement of it all.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ramblings and Photos

Yesterday and today James and Cara took the kids for the day so that I could stay with my mom. It's impossible to have the kids there now and besides, hanging around there for hours and hours isn't the best thing for them. They are much better off running wild at a park or something. I'm so lucky that James and Cara are enjoying spending time with them (even when Kelton forgets to wear his listening ears).

It's strange to have them away from me all day. Yesterday I had thought they were just going to the nearby park and then would be back but they ended up going to one park, then McDonald's for lunch, then another park and finally to my sister's house before returning. They were gone from 11-4 which is a long time for them to be away from me. They did great though.

Today they left around noon and returned around 4:30 and again they visited a park, McDonald's, the beach and another park.

Needless to say both nights they fell into their beds exhausted. Last night Kaylen stood in the bathroom calling "Bath Mommy! Bath!" She knows that bedtime follows bath and she was eager to be tucked in.

Yesterday I neglected to pass along my camera but today I remembered. Here are a few of the 146 pictures that Cara took. Too funny! :)

Here they are at the beach which is about 10 minutes from where my parents are:

And these are park and McDonald's pictures:

Tomorrow I am definitely picking up some sunscreen for these guys. My poor babies are a bit sunburned on their arms and faces. Who knew? When I packed to come up here (four and a half weeks ago) it was all about raincoats and long sleeves. This week I've had to pick up a few summer outfits. I didn't realize I would be here for the change in the season. Wow.

Have I mentioned that it's been a long 4 weeks? James and Lannon keep telling me that time is being counted in dog years during all this and I have to say, they are right! Seven dog years to every one human what does that equate to in months? I'm too tired to figure it out but it's a lot.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and thoughts. Today my mom didn't wake at all; not even when the caregiver and I tended to her hygiene or turned her. Not once did I see her eyes even flutter open. Today for the first time she looked mostly dead. It was weird. When she received her meds this afternoon she didn't wake either and that included choking on them (which was really hard to watch). Note to self: make sure that people know I want an IV port for medication when/if I ever get to this point. Meds by mouth (her desire was stated "by mouth or not at all") when you can no longer swallow worth a damn is not good. I get the not wanting to be hydrated to extend things but an IV port for meds seems reasonable to me....and downright necessary after seeing what I saw today. She has to have the drugs to be comfortable and yet choking to death on them seems so...........well... awful.

I'm praying that tonight she starts her new journey. Somehow I just KNOW the new place will be better than where she is right now.

My mom is still among the breathing - though just barely. We are all befuddled as to why since all signs are pointing to the contrary. The hospice nurse thinks she is hanging on until my dad's birthday; which is tomorrow. She suggests we have a birthday party for him in my mom's room and see if that gives her the peace she needs to finally let go.

It sounds reasonable but part of me wonders how she could possible know what day it is considering she has been all but comatose for days and days. *sigh*

I hope she isn't holding out for Mother's Day - I'm not sure any of us can take much more of this. We thought she would go Monday night but rallied at the last moment. That was hard for all of us. So - if you are of the praying sort (good thoughts, etc) then please do my family a great favor by praying, wishing, etc that my mom finds whatever peace she is looking for quickly so that she can move from this incredibly painful place to whatever lies ahead.

We all need to move forward. As emotionally painful as it will be for those of us left behind, the desire for mom to be out of her horrible physical pain outweighs that. It is time that she moves forward. It's time we all do.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mother's Day and Park Days

All these Mother's Day commercials and displays in the stores are ripping out my heart. I'm not even sure why exactly since the holiday has always just been a "send a card and make a call day" but this year it's just hitting me hard. My mom will most likely be gone by Sunday and I will never again buy a Mother's Day card for my mom. Weird. I had no idea when I picked out the card last year that it would be the last time.

I'm having a hard day today.

*deep breath*

And since I'm really great at denial and are a few pictures that Dakota took at the park Saturday and a few that I took at a different park this afternoon. The weather today has been amazing! We stayed around 70 today which is quite the change from the 50-60 degree days that have been the norm. I hear it's even warmer at home.

Saturday's park adventure:

Today's park adventure:

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Our Digs

I know you are probably dying to see the layout of the room in which we are staying. I mean, who could blame you? This hotel living is nothing like Eloise or even The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. I mean, it's ok and all just isn't home. Know what I mean?

The bedroom doesn't actually have a chair in it. Instead, where the chair appears on the floor plan there is a roll-away bed that Kelton sleeps in. Otherwise, it's pretty accurate.

In other news, things are picking up speed. We're in the counting hours part - hospice feels certain she won't make it much longer. It's hard to watch but I'm glad I am here. I've said my goodbyes and feel at peace about it all....well, as "at peace" as you can get when your mother is dying and soon won't be in the world. It's so strange to think about the reality of that; not here. My mom will be gone. I know this seems like a big ol' "duh" but I've never lived one single day in my life when my mother was not part of the world. Facing the reality that soon I will be "motherless" is...well....I cna't even describe it.

I know many of you know what I mean and I hope the rest of you don't have to experience this for a long, long, long time. It's just so strange. Surreal. Dreamlike.

I don't know.................

Anyway - that's it from here for now.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Just a little cuteness to share. :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I've Been Tagged.... Patti_Cakes and it seems like a good diversion so here goes:

First, the rules:
Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to blog about their seven things and post the rules as well. At the end of your post, choose 7 people to tag and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog! OK, here we go....

1) I'm a bit (ahem....yes, I'm only claiming a bit. No comments from the peanut gallery, Dakota!) anal about things. Not all things but a lot of things. I think things should be done in a certain manner and that's all there is to it. So there. :)

2) I love, love, love The Gilmore Girls. I own a bunch of the seasons already (well - some were "gifts" for Dakota but we both know they are really for me. *grin*) and by golly I will own all of them before the year is out. And I am so incredibly bummed that May 15th is the last ever new episode. It's true - word came down today that the show is ending. It's just not right, I tell you. If 7th Heaven can still be on the air (and it should have been done years ago!) then this just makes no sense what-so-ever. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

3) I work really hard to be sure the house is cleaned up before the kids and I leave it - even if we're only running the grocery store. One of my biggest fears is leaving a messy house, getting hurt (or worse) while away from the house and having other people walk into the house to find it a mess. I just don't want people thinking "Dang - she was a slob! Couldn't even be bothered to do the breakfast dishes or make the bed? Lazy ass." Yes, I know. I need therapy. :)

4) If I were to win the lottery (which I'm told is impossible if you never play. Go figure.) I don't think I would go nutty and buy tons of stuff. I don't have a need for 5 fancy cars and a gigantic house. I think my biggest splurge would be a beach house for weekend/summer getaways. Nothing tremendously fancy - but it would have to have an up close and personal view of the beach. :)

5) I have precious few real life friends. Most of the people who I call friends are internet-based. I gotta tell you though - it's hard to have a summer bbq with friends who span the country.

6) I love to shop. But not for myself. I love to shop for the kids. I rarely ever buy things which are not on clearance or at a consignment shop/garage sale. I can' stand paying full price when I know I can get things for less....even if they are "pre-owned". Except shoes for the kids. I am all about new shoes for them though I still won't spend a ton.

7) I've been living in a hotel for 21 days (and counting). It's not as much fun as it looks in the movies. :)

So - who is getting tagged? Let's see...........Brenda, Caroline, FroggyMama, Mieke, Tracey, Lynilu and Holly. Can't wait to read yours.
Coming to an end.... least, that's what I'm seeing. My mom definitely changed from yesterday to today. As soon as I walked into the room this morning I could see it. Much more non-responsive, staring at things and rarely making eye contact, severe trouble swallowing (yesterday she was still drinking fairly well - this change was quite shocking as it feels like it happened in the blink of an eye), not wanting things to drink (yesterday she would take whatever was offered. Today she refused ice chips to help wash down the liquid morphine.). Her color was different - much more pale.

I can't see her going on like this for much longer and honestly, I don't want her to have to go on much longer like this. It can't be easy for her and I wonder how she is feeling about it all...or even if she is aware (which I think she is but what do I know?) It breaks my heart to know she has pain and is scared and confused. In a way I'm a bit taken back by this - though honestly it could all be my own projections - she is a very religious person and has been always. For some reason, I have been under the misguided assumption that having such faith would make it much easier to make the transition from this life to the next. I'm not seeing that in her but then, maybe I am. Maybe that is what she wants but it just isn't time yet. I don't know - like I said, I'm sure it's mostly my own projections. All I know is I don't want her to have to go through much more of this. For her sake...and for all of ours. We are where we are - she can't come back from this so the only place there is to go is forward. Forward...into new territory for all of us.

Brave New World. Or something like that.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My Poor Babies

My kids were both conked out by 6:15 tonight. They are beyond exhausted so we stayed in this afternoon and just hung out watching tv, playing and getting laundry done. After an early dinner and early bath I read them their stories and turned out the lights. Kaylen was asleep before I finished the first of two chapters in "Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing". Kelton was out just moments after closing the book.

But it has been anything but quiet. They are both jabbering away in their sleep (this has actually been going on for the past few nights). Kelton is just saying non-sensical things but Kaylen is clearly having nightmares of some sort. Yelling out for me, screaming "NO! GO AWAY! MOMMY!!!" and "Rainy day, watch Barney. No sunny day, rainy day." It's the squirming and yelling out for me that get me though. Poor little girl. She really is at her wits end with being able to deal with things.

Hopefully she will get a good amount of decent sleep (and me, too). Goodness knows all three of us need some good quality rest.

Here's hoping.
Who Am I?

Sounds profound, doesn't it? It's not. It's so much more simple than that. Up here, with my family and everyone connected to them, I am Tricia. It is the name I was given at birth.

About 13 (plus) years ago, I legally changed my name to Casey (and then changed my last name to Dakota's last name and changed my middle name to my birth last name. Confusing, no?). Just to further complicate things, Dakota, at the same time (both name changes where in stages before we met) was changing her name from Cynthia (Cindy) to Dakota.

So - here, in Seattle, people call me Tricia and back home, Dakota's family calls her Cindy (though they do try to use Dakota most of the time). The kids, well, Kelton at least, know this little thing and is used to us having two names - depending on where we are.

But it's confusing for me. Whenever I introduce myself to someone hospice nurse, pastor, etc) I feel my head spin a little as I quickly sort through "who am I to this person"? It's a weird feeling. The kids still call me Casey when they refer to me which I know confuses people but I just don't feel like explaining.

Way back when, when I told my mom about changing my name, she said "I'm not surprised. You have always said you hated your name and wished it was something else." At that time I'm sure I was wanting it to be Jennifer or Julie (they were my two favorite names when I was a child). :)

I'm feeling very identity-confused. Who am I? *sigh* I know I'm Tricia to my family and that's ok. It's just so weird to say "And I'm Tricia, the other daughter." when that's not who I really am. Or am I?

On another note, yesterday evening I noticed that Kaylen was starting to develop a runny nose. By 10pm it was a full-fledged stuffy-runny nose. Yep - another cold. Great. Didn't she just get over one as we arrived up here? Yeah - I thought so.

My mom isn't doing well at all. She is in bed full time now, sleeping a lot, confused because of the morphine and anti-anxiety drugs. It's hard to see her like this - I don't want this part for her at all. The hospice nurse says it could be in the next hour or it could be a couple weeks yet. Her main caregiver says she anticipates seeing something radically change by weeks end. Only time will tell.

The kids are all over the place with their behavior and emotions. That's hard for me, too. I don't like seeing them this way and knowing it's because they are feeling so displaced and adrift. I try to maintain a sense of schedule but really - it's just a joke. There is no schedule and I know that my two thrive in the confines of a schedule and routine and they don't have that right now which equates to rough moments/days.

Dakota's first final is today. Please take a moment and telepathically wish her great success on this one and the next two.

I have no word on her dad since this weekend. He is undergoing radiation to reduce the pain level. It will take 3 weeks (I believe) to complete. After that, I'm not sure of the game plan.

She is busy putting feelers out all over the place for employment opportunities. I'm actually quite impressed with the sheer number of people she is contacting and the positive responses she is receiving. Something good is bound to come from all that hard work and dedication.

So that's it's from here. Hope everyone is having a good week.