Monday, June 25, 2018

Lately - In Photos (part 1)

I haven’t been keeping up with the blog for obvious reasons.  I know if I look back on this one day and have a huge gap, it will bother me.  I thought I’d look through the recent photos in my phone and do a quick recap of life lately and then I’ll be somewhat caught up.

A chaperoned the final preschool field trip of the year.  They went to a local beach (Lake Michigan) state park.  A sent these photos to me of W standing near the shore and throwing rocks into the lake.  I love how serene it appears.

 A and I went to a Cubs game Memorial Day weekend.  With everything going on, it was such a blessing to escape for a little adult time cheering on our favorite team.  And the Cubbies won!  Afterwards, we met the boys and Nani and Papa for pizza – such a fun day.

 The boys don’t usually get their hair washed when they get a haircut.  The stylist typically just wets their hair and then cuts it.  On this day, the assistant asked W if he’d like his hair washed and he agreed.  His face was priceless and I couldn’t stop laughing.  He now understands that relaxing feeling having someone else wash your hair and I think he’ll be requesting a shampoo for all future haircuts.

Love this doggy.

 Our weather has not been very summer like – seems like it’s either chilly or rainy.  But when it has been nice, the boys have taken full advantage. 

We celebrated National Donut Day with Donuts... and donut moccs.

The last day of preschool!!  This was huge.  W’s last day of preschool EVER.  I now have a kindergartener… whaaaa!!  And S completed his first year of preschool.  This was the toughest school year for so many reasons and I know I’ve complained about it before.  It was extremely stressful for me with two different drop off times, two different pick up times, scheduling meetings around those times, and working full time.  I’m so thankful for a somewhat flexible job.  But my goodness, it was tough.  Completing this school year was such a relief.  While next year will bring its own set of challenges, I’m just happy we survived this year.  I absolutely love the kids is W’s class and have become friends with some of their parents – I’m so sad our kids won’t be in the same class next year, but I do hope we’ll keep in touch.  I should also mention that the boys are thriving.  S amazed me – from day one, I was able to drop him off with no tears.  He counts, he speaks incredibly well, and he’s really darn funny.  W has been requesting to do math worksheets for fun?!?  And he’s beginning to read.  I’m so proud of both of them.

Pride Month - supporting our LGBTQ friends. And making sure my boys know they can be whomever they are meant to be.  I'll always love them.

To be continued…

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


August 2017, I lost a baby and the possibility of expanding our family.  June 7, 2018, I lost my only brother.  And in just a couple weeks, I’ll lose my dog.  So much hurt in less than one year.  Instead of focusing on the excruciating pain and emptiness I’ve endured, I wanted to share a positive experience.  I wrote this shortly after my brother’s passing because I wanted to express my gratitude for the support my family has received.

Thank you so much. Thank you for all the texts, Facebook messages, emails, cards, offers of help. Thank you for sharing stories and favorite memories. You made an unfathomable tragedy bearable. My mom and I have read through every single post on James’s Facebook page, every memory written down during his visitation. I’ll never understand why James was taken from us. Losing my little brother, my only sibling, will never ever make sense to me. But knowing how many lives he touched in his 33 years makes our devastating loss a little less painful. More than one person at his visitation explained to me that James was their best friend. I didn’t even realize multiple best friends were possible, but if anyone could have achieved that, it’s James. Multiple people told me James helped them through a tough time in life. When they needed him, James was always there. James could talk to anyone and made friends with everyone. His smile was genuine and his laugh was contagious. Multiple people also told me they were surprised I didn’t mention that James had been sick for some time. I didn’t intentionally hide his hospital stay; I just held out hope that he’d get better. James had every intention of recovering, leaving the hospital, and making a trip to Washington Island. My mom and Susana were with him at the hospital every single day for 6 weeks. All of us wishing, hoping, praying he’d get better. And that brings me to a final thought. You never know what struggles people are going through, what hardships they’re enduring, what battles they’re facing. In a world where you can be anything, be kind. It’s what James would’ve wanted. Be a little more patient, a little less judgmental, and a lot more compassionate. In the words of James’s favorite, Bob Marley, “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” Thank you, all.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Weekend Recap - 5/21/18

I decided that I wouldn’t visit the hospital this weekend.  With lots going on, I needed a break and wanted to spend as much time with the guys as possible.  Even though I’m not gone all that long when I do visit my brother, I think my absence may be affecting W.  He’s acted out quite a bit lately and his actions are more aggressive than I’ve ever seen from him – throwing things, yelling, blatant disregard for directions, even trying to bite a few times.  So very uncharacteristic of him.  At first we thought his allergy medicine may be impacting his behavior and I still think it may have contributed.  A pointed out that W has always been very sensitive and acutely aware of others’ feelings so even though we’ve tried to protect him and shield him from sadness, he’s no doubt picked up on it.  It’s been a really difficult month for all of us.

With that said, I picked up pizza on my way home from work Friday and the boys devoured it.  In preparation for our new sofa and chair arriving on Saturday, A and I had to move the existing sofa and chair into the garage.  I was a little nervous about being able to get both out of the house, but I honestly feel like A and I can accomplish anything together.  That’s a little cheesy, but it’s really how I feel.  And we moved those two pieces of furniture like a boss (bosses?).  The boys thought it was pretty funny that we had no furniture in the living room.  A had had a rough day with his students and suggested ice cream.  It sounded perfect to me so we had an ice cream picnic in the empty living room before tucking the boys in for the night.  Only feeling slightly guilty about the massive amount of ice cream and pizza I consumed (side note: with everything going on, I’m finding it difficult to squeeze in the treadmill – I really need to get back to walking a few times each week).

Our new furniture arrived early Saturday morning.  I was a little worried about seeing it – we had chosen fabric and styles in store, but had yet to see the finished product.  I’m relieved to say I love it!  Late morning, we headed out to check out area rugs – I found one I love, but can’t justify the price so I’ve been searching for a cheaper alternative.  No luck yet.  However, the boys did enjoy checking out the toilets at the home improvement store.  We let W choose a lunch spot and he chose Red Robin.  Love going here because the burgers are yummy and they always send us coupons – woohoo!  From there, we decided to head to the amusement part.  We got season tickets again this year and it’s great to be able to go for just a couple hours.  W seemed really happy that I was there and I think he asked me about 20 times if I’d go on a roller coaster with him.  After nearly an hour wait, we made it on and he loved it!  As soon as it stopped, he asked to go again.  S (who’s usually my little daredevil) was NOT a fan.  He preferred the carousel.  So thankful for a fun day and W especially seemed to enjoy it.

BEFORE - I'll miss my red couch.  Probably should've cleaned up a bit before the photo, but real life.  Also that little book cubby does NOT belong next to the tv - W likes to rearrange furniture.  My little Nate Berkus in the making.

S is a strong little man

AFTER - I think W is a fan (and I eventually found a rug).  We still plan to wall mount the tv.

Sunday was a rough morning for W.  Not exactly sure what was going on.  He may have been tired from the day prior or he may have assumed I’d be going to the hospital.  He just wouldn’t listen to A or me, was defiant, mean to S.  As a result, he ended up staying in the car for a chat with A and missed the children’s mass at church.  Luckily, he was fine after that.  A and I had to work at the school carnival so the boys went to my mom’s house for a bit.  They had a blast playing and even took the Power Wheels Jeep for a spin (I mean W took it for a spin because S refuses to ride – guess that says something about W’s driving).  A and I enjoyed working together and earned our parent participation credit.  When we were done, we picked up the boys and headed back to the carnival so they could jump in the bounce house, ride the pony, and indulge in pizza and popcorn.

His expression is the best - he'd been asking for weeks to ride the horse and was so excited!  He even told his preschool teacher is favorite animal was a horse.

All in all it was a great weekend!