Grandpa

My grandpa passed away on July 12, 2013. The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotions and plans and visiting. I’m tired, but at peace with things.

We were blessed to have a close family friend to be with us at the graveside service.

You’ll see a lot of paint stir sticks … my grandpa was a painter for many years and passed the business on to his son. We all wrote notes on the sticks and left them with grandpa.

Saying Goodbye

In May my Grandpa B (my mom’s dad) turned 80. We had an awesome family trip to the zoo followed up with a party and magic show. It was so much fun. Fast forward 2 weeks and he’s in the hospital with an infected gallbladder. After 9 days in the hospital, he was able to go home. Less than 2 weeks went by and he was back in the hospital for dehydration and kidney failure. He refused treatment, signed a DNR, and requested to be moved to Hospice.

In just a month we went from having my grandpa be up and around and in general good health to having him in a hospice facility and planning his funeral.

Since we moved him to the hospice facility, I can tell he is much more comfortable. We’ve had some good visits with him while he’s there, and he’s frankly holding on longer than any of us thought he would. I guess he likes it there and wants to stay for a while. :)

In the meantime, we’re making arrangements and plans and we’re all saying our goodbyes. And I’m trying not to think about what it will be like for me when it’s my spouse or my father. I know I’ll fall to pieces if I do.

It’s been a lot to take in and try to absorb. As my husband said, Grandpa B was the one we thought would be the last to go. No one figured he would go so soon … so fast. Explaining it all to B has been interesting. He seems to be grasping what is happening. It’s a fine line to give him enough information so he understands, but making sure he knows that getting sick doesn’t mean you will die, that people can go to the hospital and get better, that people in his family will be around a while yet.

My grandparents and my mom when B was one day old (October 2009)

My grandparents and my mom when B was one day old (October 2009)

My aunt, grandpa, grandma, and mom (May 2013)

My aunt, grandpa, grandma, and mom (May 2013)

June 19, 2004

As a follow-up to this post, today is our wedding anniversary (observed).

WideShotonLawn

Us 1

Us 2

WeddingPartyOutside

Kevin

KevininBackground

Ceremony

Candle

Changes

After lots and lots of thought and involvement, we’re making some changes that will hopefully be for the better for B. This year school has been a challenge for us. I’ve been feeling unsettled in his classroom for quite a while, and some recent comments just confirmed to me that we need a fresh start in a new room. I met with our head of school who told me they had a student placement team evaluating B to see where he would fit well, and they consulted with his OT and counselor after I spoke with both of them as well. (Side note: advocating for your kid is exhausting!) Finally, I got the decision yesterday on what his new classroom will be for this fall, and I think it will be a good fit for him. Time will tell.

He’s having allergy testing at the end of the month and we’ve decided to stop his allergy meds earlier than needed to see if that will change his recent behavior at all. Since we added a second med, he’s been very difficult and acting different than ever before. From the reading I did online, this can be a known effect with some kids on this medication. Interesting.

Tomorrow is the last official day of the school year. B will be back there this summer for the day camp program, but that’s pretty laid back and is essentially playing outside as much as possible. It’s been a bumpy ride, but we made it through the first year. How many more to go??? ;)

May 30, 2003

10 years ago there was a young engaged couple. They were starting to plan their wedding when he got sick and was in the hospital for nearly a week. Diagnosis? Crohn’s Disease. Treatment? Expensive name brand prescription medication. Problem? He was working as an intern without insurance benefits or sick leave because the company was on a hiring freeze. What were they to do?

But wait! She had a job with insurance benefits. So off they went with two witnesses to the Justice of the Peace and got married so that he could have insurance and they could move on.

No rings were exchanged, no names were changed, but it was their start.

Happy ‘anniversary’ K!

Centreville 001

Centreville 002

Centreville 003

PS – for those who are wondering, the anniversary we celebrate is that from our church ceremony the following year where all our family and friends were present and I wore a dress :)

Morning Routine

My friend Amber (who has the most adorable kids ever!) posted pictures the other day showing her morning routine, from wake up to out the door. I thought it was a cool idea so I’m totally stealing it. Here we go!

My morning starts with B coming in and putting his face in mine and telling me that it’s time to get up. No pictures of this because I’m way too incoherent at that point. I help him get dressed and get him breakfast and turn PBS Kids on. Then it’s time for me to get ready.

First things first.

Keurig

Okay. Time to see what we have to work with today.

Bedhead 2

Bedhead1

Not too bad. Lets put on some clothes and brush it out while I contemplate what to do with it.

Photobomb from the kiddo who likes to poop in my bathroom

Photobomb from the kiddo who likes to poop in my bathroom

Today is a non-wash day, so I can pull it back or leave it down. When I pull it back, I use a set of Goody spin pins. Love those things!

Pulled back 1

Pulled back 2

The other option is to hit it with the straightener for a quick touch up. I think that’s the route we’ll go today.

Straightened

Back to the kitchen. Step over the ‘gate’ B has built while I was getting ready.

Gate

Make breakfast. I was doing chocolate for a while, but I’m back to the greenberry right now. Mix it with water, almond milk, and a splash of OJ. Love it!

Breakfast

Time to get B convinced that he won’t die if he wears shoes to school, herd him into the car, and we’re off to school!

Cheaper than Therapy

Every year on Mother’s Day weekend our city hosts the Fifth Third Riverbank Run which features the largest 25K road race in the country. More than 21,000 people participated in all the events this year (25K, 10K, 5K, 5K walk).

Growing up, I was never a runner. It was a huge joke in my family, especially since my little sister ran track and cross country. Me? I broke my arm jumping hurdles. I joined the debate team after that.

I tried running back in 2008 but I didn’t enjoy it, got angry and frustrated, and gave up on it. In 2012 I picked it back up through the JoggerMom Marathon challenge (run 26.2 miles during the month of May). I also did bootcamp at that same time. Over 6 months, I got in shape, lost 25+ lbs., and realized that I like running. I need to run. That physical release is what I need to help keep my brain happy. I found this headband at a fitness expo on Friday and had to buy it.

headband

I decided to sign up for the Riverbank 10K this year. A week before the race I finally was able to run the distance on my own at home. It was Hard. I was almost in tears when I got home because it was so mentally tough. Running alone on country roads definitely has pros (not much traffic, great scenery) and cons (no one to encourage you).

Finally it was here. Race day. I was fighting allergies and a stressful week at work, but I was determined to do it. I wore my fabulous Austin shirt that Jess gave me at Blissdom so I could take her and Kristina along with me for encouragement. :)

Austin

Waiting at the start was pretty surreal. In light of the events in Boston, security was pretty intense. I even saw members of our bomb squad out.

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http://media.mlive.com/grpress/opinion_impact/photo/chris-clark-10-kjpg-ea12f0ef2e508d6b.jpg

10K starting line

My dad came and met me at different points along the course which was awesome. Having streets lined with people watching, cheering, and encouraging us on was unreal. At 2 miles in I couldn’t believe we were already that far. It felt like we had just started! As we worked our way through the course, the range of emotions was intense.

I ended up with the time that I wanted and the knowledge that I can do this. I don’t know that I’ll try to run any farther than this (my body kind of hates me right now), but it’s an awesome feeling to have accomplished this. Right now, I’m in the best shape of my life, and it feels pretty damn good.

2013 - 3 mile mark

2013 – 3 mile mark

2013 - finish!

2013 – finish!

Spring Time = Busy Time

It is crazy how busy things are for me right now. Work is ramped up with deadlines crashing into each other; there doesn’t really seem to be much light at the end of the tunnel either. Just when we think we’re making some headway … Bang! … more deadlines crop up. I suppose it’s a good problem to have, but it’s overwhelming to feel like we’re continually treading water. Our firm has a small litigation department (me and 2 attorneys) so it’s a pretty heavy burden. Right now I can’t afford to take any time off, which sucks.

On top of the work business, we’re still juggling with counseling and OT appointments for B, and I’m trying to keep up with running for my mental health. The stress at work makes this more important, but also leaves less time for it. It’s a conundrum.

Saturday I will be running a 10K. My first ever. I am insanely nervous. We’ve got stuff planned for every weekend now through mid-June. Thankfully it’s pretty much all ‘fun’ stuff.

Hopefully soon I’ll get a breather, and can take a few days off at the start of June when B’s off school a few days. Until then … just keep swimming. :)

How to Control the Clutter?

Our house isn’t very big or fancy, but it suits us just fine. Generally. Ever since we moved in, there is one thing that drives me crazy.

Where to put coats.

I know. It seems so basic. But here’s the deal. We come in through the garage. That door opens into the kitchen. There’s a closet right there, but we use it as our pantry. I’ve managed to create a little spot to put shoes, but not coats, backpacks, etc..

Doors

Then, you’re in the kitchen. The major dumping ground has become our dining room table and any open floor space near there.

Dining Room

There is a coat closet by the front door, but you have to go through the kitchen, dining room, and living room to get to it. And let’s face it: 3 year olds won’t do that. So I deal with coats on chairs until company comes over and I jam them into a closet.

What do you do to keep coats, backpacks, and all the other daily use ‘stuff’ organized?

How ‘Bout Them Apples?

For some reason that I can’t understand, B calls my breasts apples. He also refers to his knee as a leg elbow. It’s no secret among those who’ve met me that my ‘apples’ are large (ironically I graduated high school an A cup). I’m a small framed person and it’s been frustrating to find bras and clothing. A year or so before I got pregnant, I went to Chicago and stopped at the Intimacy store at 900 Michigan (this is the chain that’s been featured on What Not to Wear for bra fittings). I walked out of there with some fabulous fitting bras, and quite shocked at my sizing – UK 32G (or US DDDD).

After that, I would try to pick up a new bra when I was visiting Chicago, or I would order online from breakoutbras.com. I don’t even remember how I found them, but I was so grateful for them. Especially when it came time to find a J cup nursing bra. Ha! It’s still frustrating to not be able to just pop over to the mall and try on a bunch of bras when I want something new, but this is just how my life is.

Even after I quit nursing the apples decided to stay. Over the last year I’ve dropped quite a bit of weight and while my cup didn’t change a lot, my band did. It’s been time to get new bras, but I’ve been putting it off. I finally stumbled across a little bra fitting shop here in my own town. She has limited hours and you need an appointment, but I got in there. She carries the brands that I’ve been wearing, but mainly the simply (aka boring) styles. Whatever. They’re functional. I walked out with 2 new everyday bras and a new sports bra. She also offered to order anything that I’d like if I can find it in a catalog. Yay!

Looks like these apples are going to be around, at least until we decide that for sure there’s not a kiddo #2 and I get a reduction.