Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fun in the Dirt

We have a little back patio in our condo, that has an area for a table and then some dirt - we could grow grass there I guess, but the kids are having so much fun digging in the dirt. We've planted some flower seeds along the wall and are hoping they will sprout soon. Tonight I brought out some buckets of water and let the kids go to town, first they just put the water in the sandbox, later they discovered how to make mud - I don't have pictures of that - I wish I did, Sarah had it all over her face, hands and legs. I couldn't take pictures because she was running over to me trying to wipe it on me and saying "Diteeee" meaning "DIRTY!!" It was straight to the bath from there for both of them, even Jakob was muddy (he's turned a new leaf with getting dirty!!). I think the little back patio will work out just fine for them. We'll see what kinds of other activities they can do back there!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

80 Years Young

On Saturday, my family had a surprise party for my Grandma Willy, at my Aunt Christina's gorgeous house in San Fran. There were 15 of us, we had a wonderful dinner at Pres a Vi, in the Presidio - scrumptious! My brother actually bought me the ticket to San Fran for Mother's Day - so sweet!! My Grandma was truly surprised. She cried at each person's entrance! 

My Grandma, is a gracious, feminine, sassy lady, I like to think I get the sassy side of me from her. She is also very caring, funny, and she sings and dances when she is happy or excited (Sarah and I get that from her too). She truly has endured a hard life, growing up in Amsterdam, living thru the War, flying with her new husband (Jacob) to Canada to start a new life (getting motion sick on the plane ride and throwing up on her new suit she made herself - because the barf bag had a hole in it- awful - but that story has stuck with me for so long). She had 4 kids (about 6 years apart) in Canada (my Mom being the eldest), in the snow, cloth diapers, super tiny car - need I say more!! About 1o years later she took them on a train ride to California (a few days, no beds or showers), moved to Ventura then had one more kiddo - Christina. She lost my Grandfather about 17 years ago, and has become very independent since. She just had a knee replacement - at 79 years old - and is doing great - it was very tough, but she is very strong!! Up until the past few years she was still hiking and even backpacking. She can walk faster than I can and she is 80 with a knee replacement, in fact I believe she passed up Jeff and my Uncle Paul, said something embarrassing to them of course, while we walked thru Golden Gate Park.
She also traveled by herself back to Amsterdam many times until this year to visit her sister who has since passed away. She still travels to Canada to see her other sister as well.
She is a very thoughtful woman, who like many other Grandmothers I'm sure, sends articles from the newspaper to you , just because they remind her of you. She sends hand written notes, which we don't get many of anymore. She makes sweaters for her 3 Great Grandchildren, Cross Stitches beautiful pictures for them as well. She gives herself to many people, including her family and the needy in her volunteer work. She makes the best cookies, the best Liverwurst sandwiches, lentil soup, dutch pancakes and many other great meals that I don't make!! She can use every last bit of something or make left overs last forever - but still manage to make them taste good - another thing I don't know quite how to do yet!!
She plays a mean card game, likes her tea extra hot and enjoys a good drink!!

She can tell a person how she wants something, when she wants it with no problem (I get that from her too)!!
She is an amazing woman and makes me want to be a better, stronger woman!
Happy 80th Grandma!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sweet Thoughts

 Jakob's prayer tonight:
"Dear God, please make sure Roxy is happy and that she is playing safely and nicely with the other dogs, we miss her so much. Amen."
I spent the day with Jakob today, mostly resting and playing games, digging outside and walking to the park. He is over his stomach virus, fever was gone by mid morning. We talked a lot about Roxy and heaven again and what she is doing up there. It was nice to have a day with just Jakob, I think he really appreciated that time, I know I did.
I am pretty sure Sarah is getting sick, so I'm sure I'll be home with her at some point this week!

As I am typing this posting, Jakob came out of bed and saw the pics of Roxy on the computer and wanted to look thru them. I explained each of them to him and he was so happy. I started to cry and he said "It's ok Mommy.  It's a good thing that God is up in heaven with Roxy watching her, she is happy." I really hope so.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Rememberance of the Best Dog Ever

We got her when she was 13 weeks from an animal shelter, we or I should say, I had the baby bug, so we went and got a puppy to curb that!! She was the queitest puppy in the shelter, had the biggest ears and was so cuddly. We could carry her in our arms. The vet told us she wouldn't get that big since she was a mix of shepherd and who knows what! ( A year later she ws 90 lbs.) When we brought her home, everyone commented on her giant ears and tongue, she looked so goofy, but grew into both of them!! Roxy moved with us 5 times and transitioned pretty easily. She was so spoiled (slept on the bed, couch, lots of treats) until Jakob came along and it just got worse as Sarah came along. But, she always knew her job, to protect and love our family.  She was always gentle with kids, no biting, no nipping, just a grunt or whine when they would pinch her or poke her in the eye. She let them crawl all over her. She would herd them when they were at the park, river or beach.  She knew I was pregnant with Jakob before I did, she acted so odd around me, she would stare at me for hours! She slept with me in the bed, spooning me! She followed me when I was in labor! She also knew I was pregnant with Sarah too - same kind of behaviors!! She was so intuitive. 
Roxy could catch a Frisbee or a ball like a champ, she would run and run until she'd drop down dead tired, but only for 20 seconds and then back up again. She was always a cuddler, a face licker and a sweet heart. She couldn't catch a mouse or rat if it walked by her - and that did happen. She would bark at a scary looking person, but as soon as they bent down she would gladly let them in our house and show them where the loot was! She was a great hiker, and walker but hated running on the leash, you would have to pull her - even as a puppy!
She loved the beach, well as a puppy, she wouldn't get within 10 feet of the water, but that changed after her Daddy took her in, from then on she loved the water. She would run in the river or the ocean and just run back and forth in it, tongue out, so happy. She would even get knocked down by the waves but would get back in. She would chase kayakers - including Mark - when they went by in the river - she was afraid for their safety apparently! She loved her toys - mostly tennis balls - she could sniff them out anywhere - and even knew the canister that they came in. She would carry around her "babies" forever then get a wild hair and go nuts and tear it apart one day. She would sit in the rain for hours, not in her dog house - made for a great smelling dog - especially after she was skunked - as the skunk smell returns with water!!
She could shake, roll over, lie down, sit, stay and fetch. She would even do this weird brake dancing move - a combo of sitting, rolling and lying down all at the same time. I remember a person asking me "How did you teach her to do that cool move?", I had to explain that she was so excited to get the ball after she did the sit, lie down, roll over move that she combined them. She loved dead animals, most of us remember the horrific day that she decided to eat a dead seal's intestines, while I cursed at her in front of strangers on the beach and then proceeded to chase her around the seal to try to catch her, then I tripped over the seal - oh yeah great times!! Oh that was awful, but it prepared me for stubborn children and the unending humiliation that can come with parenting!!!
All in all Roxy was the most amazing dog. She was 8 years old, had been with us since before we were even engaged. She saw us thru all our triumps and failures, all our love and hate, all our arguements, job changes, births of children, all with a smile and a pant!! Her death came suddenly (possibly a tumor that caused pain, lack of movement in her front legs and neck), painfully and was so heart breaking. We had to make a really hard decision, but we know it was the best one. We know she is in a better place. One of the hardest things I've ever done in my life was make this decision but it was also so easy, knowing she would be out of pain. Along with this decision, having to tell Jakob, the most sensitive kid I know when it comes to animals (he cried when he saw a bee that was going to die). He took it very maturely, he "needed to be by himself to cry", then asked questions like "Why can't the doctors fix her, why doesn't her body go with her to heaven?" He gave her a hug and a kiss and told her he loved her. Sarah, didn't know what was going on, but I know she does does miss her as she has been walking around looking for her doggy and yelling her name! Sarah gave Roxy a kiss on the lips and a poke in the eye - typical Sarah - before we took her in. Roxy was on a stretcher at home last night,  I know the kids knew it was serious. Also watching Mark grieve has been very hard. (On top of this, Jakob had a stomach virus, he vomited and was sick all night last night, I was in San Francisco for my Grandma's 80th surprise party - my first trip away from the family in 2 years - and came back after 1 night - I had too, how could I be away when my first baby girl was in pain!)
As Jakob said today "She is in dog heaven chasing other dogs". I think she is eating tennis balls and Mark thinks she is at the beach. Wherever she is, she is missed deeply by Mark, Jakob, Sarah and I.
In loving memory:

Roxy's nibblers - Mark loved to take pics of them - random but funny.

Hoping you are here!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Girls and Babies

Sarah is really into babies right now and LOVES dolls. She wraps her baby up in a blanket, tries her best to feed it her cup of milk (while making the sounds of a baby sucking),  will pat the baby on the tummy and say "SHHHSHHHH Baby". It is so cute! It's weird that this is starting already, she is such a girl!! Jakob loves his babies too, but didn't ever play with babies this early on.

I tried my best to get a video of her wrapping her baby up, this is what I got!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jakob Funny

Just a quick note, I got my hair cut last week, about 4 inches taken off, and when Jakob saw me he said "You don't look like my regular Mommy!" Later that night he said, "Will your hair grow back in the morning?" I replied "No, did you like my hair long?" 
Jakob: "Yeah but you are still pretty."

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Move

Well, we are pretty much settled into our new place (3 bedroom condo). It was a painful move, 80 degrees, 2 kids, a dog and movers that showed up late! Thank God for Amber, Josh and the Brink family for their help with kids and moving!! Love you guys!
This move is a sacrifice for us, condo living isn't exactly what we thought we'd be doing, but it's what's best for the family right now. I hope when our kids read about the "great recession of 09", they know that we too had to make some sacrifices and learn that living within or even below your means is OK!
The kids are liking their room, it's bigger than the one they had before and the closet space is fantastic. They both enjoy playing on the back patio and digging in the dirt and in the sandbox. Mark has a "guys" room now, really the office/den but it's all his stuff in there with the chase lounge from our couch as that didn't fit in our living room. I think the member of our family who has benefited the most, surprisingly, is Roxy! She doesn't have an enclosed yard, so she will be staying inside, but she gets to go across the street to the dog park twice a day - more exercise than she has had in a year. She is still a bit anxious in her new environment and is on a hunger strike - which she does when she is stressed - but she'll be fine in a few days.
Mark and I are exhausted and sore. I'm going crazy with things being such a mess, and am praying that the organizing/cleaning fairy comes soon!! The good part is we have hot water, a roof, food, internet and all the rest of the basics - oh and our little family is pretty healthy and pretty happy! Guess that's what counts!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Had a nice Mother's Day. I was given the "best present in the whole world", by Jakob - a picture of me. A sweet hand print from Sarah and a super cute necklace (hand made by a local Portland woman) from Mark.
I got to sleep in until 8:30 am, didn't shower, went on a walk to the bakery for my favorite latte, and a piece of coconut cake. We walked over to the Sellwood park for some play time - kids had a great time. Then home for a family nap! We spent the afternoon buying seeds for Auntie Amby's garden, and a couple plants for our pots (strawberries and tomatoes). We had dinner ala New Seasons (no cooking for me) and an early evening margarita!! All in all a great day.

Climbing trees

Sarah, awoke from her nap and had a wrestling match with Jakob!

My super sweet gifts!
You can see in this picture - Me (with a dress on), a few hearts, the sun, the sky, some grass and a flower!

Happy Mother's Day to all those hard working Mamas!! Your work is selfless and never ending, and your heart ever giving!! Love You Mom, Mom K., Mom M., and all my sweet girlfriends who are raising your sweet little chicks!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Visit with the Schroeders!!

Friday night we drove up to Sequim (about 4 hours from Portland) to visit our good friends Wendy, Joe, Abby and baby to be Schroeder (due July 20th and looking good already - as in the baby is making an adorable belly on Wendy).
Jakob had a TON of fun, he got to feed horses, chase goats (avoid being head butted by Jezzie the goat - who was herding him), went to a festival in Sequim, scootered with Abby to the beach to search for crabs, played outside until dark (in the rain) with Abby - this was just Saturday! On Sunday morning, the kids of course, went out to play with the goats again - Jakob's request, then took a trip to the dairy to check out the cows. Sarah had a great time too, loved the dogs, and all the animals! And of course, loved Abby and is now sayiing "Abby" when she sees her picture - well she called her name all the time while we were there too. So cute!
We took a ton of pictures and I couldn't choose just a few to post, so sorry for so many pics, hope you like them too!!

Chasing the goats!

Jakob being herded by Jezzie - we didn't get a picture of Jezzie when she was all the way up on her hind legs - seriously funny!! I was crying watching the whole thing, Jakob was LOVING it!
Serious scootering!!
The whole silly gang!
Had to sneak this in, the view from Wendy and Joe's house!
Blue "leaning" on Sarah, I think he was preventing her from going down the stair, too cute!!
Baby cows!!
Touching the babies!! Oh, it's hard to see it, but look at that little belly Wendy has!!

Dad and daughter on the tractor!
Abs and Jakob on the tractor.

Little sweetie!
Oh and a lucky sighting of the Elk in Sequim!

Thanks Wendy, Joe and Abby for the wonderful visit and hospitality!! It's always nice to travel to very kid friendly places - like the fact that you didn't mind Sarah smearing spaghetti sauce all over your table or her snot being wiped on your shoulders!!
But, there is no greater feeling than to visit friends and feel like you haven't left or been away, even though it's been ages (and to even feel that thru my children is extra special). I cherish that feeling of belonging or connection, whatever it is, I love it! My soul is re energized after a night of laughter with friends.
Miss you guys tons and LOVE you even more! Can't wait to meet the newest member of your family!