Friday, March 7, 2014

Kilts, hats and disgusting soup

I went back to work this week after nearly six weeks off. Things went fairly well, except the getting up shortly after 5am was a little rough. But after three days  back, I had to take a day off because our sitter is on holidays. 

I was hanging out with CeCe while the other two girls were in school. She decided we should play barbies. Alright. Then she thought I should be the dad Barbie. Alright. We only have one ken, so I found him and of course, he was naked. I began looking for his clothes and found a shirt, but couldn't track down any pants. Hmm. What to do? I found the skirt that was most kilt-looking and went for that. (It was plaid anyway). In retrospect, it may have been a wee bit short. 
Oh well, it did the trick until we were ready for our next game which involved bean bags, bean bag targets/buckets and my head.  
And of course a photo bomb by CeCe. 

The girls had skating lessons last night, and I was looking to make supper. I asked Ginny what we should have. She said, 'something simple.'  I like simple. I asked her if we should have tomato soup. She said, 'something simple that isn't disgusting.' Alright. I guess that explains why it takes her the better part of an hour to choke down a bowl. Now we know exactly how she feels. Later. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Guilty or great?

After nearly six weeks since my hernia surgery, I go back to work on Monday. This past week, I spent a little bit of time at the school with the kids. 

Let me start the story by backing up a couple of weeks. Jorja was really upset thinking I was no longer the same person and that she would never have any fun with me again. In her defense, I was kind of a downer, but I didn't think it was that bad. Anyway, at this same time, Jorja's teacher emailed everyone saying that she didn't have enough parent readers for the month of February. (Every day, the kids go out into the hall one by one and read a little bit to a parent volunteer.) So I emailed back and signed up for a day. 

On Monday, I went to the school right after lunch and listened to the kids read. It turned out to be ok. They were well behaved for the most part. There sure is a difference in reading levels throughout a class though. Must make teaching tough. Before I left for the school and I was having second thoughts, I texted Julie and asked her why I signed up for this. She texted back that it was because I was a great dad and loved my kids. I texted back that I'm pretty sure it was guilt but I liked her answer better. It's a fine line between guilt and greatness. 

Jorja was thrilled though and spent several days before and after talking about it. This led Ginny to feel that I should come to her class too. So my greatness took over and I emailed her teacher to see if she needed any extra hands this week. I went down for an hour Thursday morning and helped out a bit. Ginny told me the night before that it was going to be a big art project, so I was a little worried, but it was pretty benign. I'm pretty sure it was just a make work project to let me help out. In any case, Ginny was thrilled too. 
It is looks like that that make it all worthwhile. Later. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A life well lived

As adults, some of us are lucky enough to have grandparents. I've still got two and up until last week, so did Julie. Julie's grandma passed away at the age of 92 on February 17th. It was a privledge to get to know her and she will be missed by her community, church family, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

This was our girls' first experience with losing a loved one. Jorja took it quite hard, as did Ginny. CeCe was upset, but not as emotional as the other two. But even at the supper table yesterday, she said, 'I sure miss great granny.'  

As a family, we went to say our final goodbyes the night before the funeral at the family viewing. We knew this would be hard, but we gave the girls the freedom to mourn however they seemed fit. In between her own tears, Jorja made her rounds and tried to comfort others, especially Julie's uncle who lived with and cared for his mother at the end. Ginny cried a lot too and did her share of hugging. CeCe asked questions like, 'she's not going to talk anymore?' followed by 'that's not good' when she got the answer. 'She's like sleeping beauty?' and 'I want her to wake up' and ' I miss her'. All the girls took turns spending some last minutes with great granny, crying, holding her hand. CeCe pulled a chair up and was just hanging out for quite a while. It's quite something to see the innocence of a child. 
The picture is a little grainy because I cropped a lot of it out for this post but this is how CeCe spent her time. When Julie asked her if she was ready to go, CeCe replied, 'just five more minutes.'  She's quite the kid. 

The funeral and interment were hard too, but the girls did great. Julie played piano in a very touching final tribute to her grandma. It was a cool day, but quite lovely as a gentle snow fell on us. 

We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with Julie's parents and brother and sister in law. Remembering, crying, laughing. 

Our final stop was church on Sunday morning.  I've been visiting their church for about 13 years now, and more often than not, granny would be up at the organ. This was her spot. 
Now it's empty as Jesus has called home one of his children. No more pain. No more suffering. Just eternal glory. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

CeCe is four!

It's hard to believe, but it's been four years since we brought this little bundle of joy home.  Yes, CeCe celebrated her fourth birthday a few days ago on February 7th.  Here she is getting ready to come home from the hospital.

And here she is now.  Opening her presents:

And her new bike for when it gets a little warmer out.  For now, We're hoping the walls can withstand a little rubber.
And here she is at her first actual birthday party.  She invited three kids from daycare and three from Sunday School and two sisters.  All that added up to one heck of a 'paint splatter party' at 4 Cats Art Studio here in town.  The kids all has a blast and came relatively clean after.
She wanted a purple dinosaur with red lips for her cake and Julie didn't disappoint.  It turned out awesome and tasted pretty good too as I think just about every kid asked for seconds.
CeCe is such a sweet and special kid.  (She has a side that makes me want to pull what hair I have left too, but this is her birthday.  We can talk about that a different day.)  She can say things that just melt your heart like when she puts a hand on your cheek, looks deep into you eyes and says, "You're the best Dad/Mom ever I know."  Or when talking about going to work or daycare, she'll say that she will miss me.  I'll say that I'll miss her too and she'll put the hand on the cheek again and say, "I'll be brave."  She prays with such innocence and earnestness, you know it's coming from her heart.  She's 'thankful to God for her sisters, her Mom, her Dad, her Cindy and her Nannies and Papas.'  

And now a couple lighter stories from the past few days about the birthday girl.  We were having pasta with meat sauce and corn the other night for supper and she asked for ketchup for her corn.  I said, "You don't need ketchup for your corn."  She said, "No?  Only for chicken?"  I said, "Yes, only for chicken."  She said, "And pigs."  Yes, I guess for pigs too.

CeCe, Ginny and I were sitting in the car waiting to pick Jorja up from school.  I decided to break up the Taylor Swift dance party that was going on with some Roxette.  I put on 'The Look.'  CeCe fell in love instantly.  She was bobbing her head and grooving and then when the chorus came she listened and said, "You mean I got the look?"  I laughed and said sure, you go the look.  So that was how she sang the song in echo  (on repeat for the next while).  
Roxette:  She's got the look.
CeCe:  I've got the look.
Roxette:  She's got the look.
CeCe:  I've got the look.
Roxette:  Nanananana, She's got the look.
CeCe:  Nanananana,  I've got the look.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fragile skin, Pez, marriage and snow

Our conversation over lunch the other day somehow turned to the Wiggles. It must have been on at daycare, because we never watch it at home. Ginny informed us that, "Anthony from the wiggles is 70. He doesn't even look old. He only has a couple white hairs and his skin doesn't look fragile." (If you're reading this Dad, I didn't ask her about your skin.) 

A friend gave me some Pez candy and three Star Wars Pez dispensers to help me through my recovery. The kids haven't had Pez that they can remember, so they were enjoying sharing my treat with me. CeCe had one and stated, "Pez are crunchy. Like carrots."  Yeah, that's exactly what comes to my mind. 

Cece has decided that she wants to marry me. After a lengthy conversation explaining that this wasn't going to happen, I told her that some day, she would meet a nice boy and then she could get married to him. She said, "Yeah, when I'm older, I'll marry a nice boy. When I'm five. And I'll be nice to it. Not mean." I was thinking maybe a touch older than that, but at least 'it's' not me. 

There was a slight skiff of snow today. Jorja came home and decided that she was going to shovel for me. (I guess actually for Julie since it can't shovel now.)  She's been a pretty big helper since my surgery. 
That's me looking out through the warm kitchen window at my child labour. Later. 

So long hernia

This has been kind of a slow week for me. Just as in the fact that I'm moving fairly slow. I had surgery last Wednesday (Jan 22) to repair a hernia. I've been living with the hernia for almost a year, so I was ready to see it go. I've never gone under the knife before so I guess I didn't really know what to expect. I'm not sure why I thought there wouldn't be that much pain after or that sitting and standing wouldn't be an issue. Now I know. 

Julie's parents came up for a few days to help out which was a huge blessing. Without them, the kids would not have been able to go to their skating lesson and CeCe would have had to miss her swimming lesson. Now listening to the fallout from that would have been painful. As it was, they got everywhere they needed to go and were picked up from daycare on time. (In Papa's truck no less, which was kind of a big deal.) And we had good meals to eat as well. 

Jorja has taken the whole surgery thing the roughest. She was a mess before it happened worrying about it and for the first few days after as well. As I was tucking her in one night and making her sit up to hug and kiss me because I couldn't bend over that far, she started to cry. I asked her what was wrong. She said, 'you're just not the same anymore.' Poor kid. I tried to explain that I had to do this so that I could be the same person again but I'm not sure she'll really buy it until I start doing a lot better. 

On Sunday the older two girls had their piano recital. We braved the bitter cold and stayed until they were done. (I had had enough sitting by then and it appeared that CeCe did as well.) They both played really well. 

That's what's new around here. Later. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

It's all pipes

Yesterday CeCe had her swimming lesson while the older two girls were in school. We're taking the lessons at Lakewood pool which has family change rooms, so that's kind of nice. I can take her into a room by herself and get her changed and not have to deal with any embarassing  questions. Last week she liked the fact there was a shower in there for after too. So when we were done this time, she wanted to have a shower. It just so happened that this time we were in the wheelchair change room, so the shower nozzle came off the wall and you could hold it. Well, she thought this was pretty cool. 

Then things took a turn for the worse. She was standing in the running water and we all know the feeling that brings on. She asked if she could pee. I weighed my options. Get her dried off and dressed in a big hurry and then look for a bathroom? Or let her go? I went with George Costanza's philosophy. 'I was there, I had to go, I saw a drain...what difference does it make? It's all pipes!!' 

I'm guessing I'll have to deal with the same question every week now. Later.