so this post is not on such a happy note. my grandma, nonnie, is in the hospital. she has been since last sunday (so 8 days now). the bad news is that she took some pretty bad spills and even fell at home when there was no one there to help her up. it makes that disgustingly annoying commercial, "i've fallen and i can't get up" go from just plain irritating to really, really sad. i have only talked to her once since she's been in the hospital. she said, "oh dear, thank you for calling, but i am just so, so sick. I can't talk right now." she made sure i knew her room number and asked that i call dad and steph to let them know the new room, and that was it. i have wanted to call her all week but she doesn't want to hear from or see anyone. i was trying to find a way to go visit, but since she doesn't want to see anyone, i guess i'll wait. in fact, my sister was there and said nonnie barely made eye contact with her. nonnie is so, so depressed.

the worst part of this is not that she is ready to go, ready to say good-bye to a long, healthy life and granddaughters that love her to death. no, the saddest part is how ready she is, but her body will not let her go.

she has a pnuemococcal virus that has spread to her blood and disabled her legs, but her counts are better, her vitals are better, and the doctor tells her this is not her time to go and she should be in rehabilitation for her legs. but she refuses. she does not want rehab, she wants hospice. she doesn't want to see anyone, she just wants to be able to let g
o of this life and move on. but her body will not let her. what might make it even worse is that her brain is 100%, or at least very close. i tell everyone she is "sharp as a tack" at the ripe old age of 94. so that just makes her acutely aware of everything and everyone she has already lost, and what her body will not let her do. here she has this amazing brain so she can know exactly how limited she has become physically. it just feels unfair.

we are so lucky that we've had so many years with her. how many 32 year-olds can claim they have a grandma that they talk to almost weekly? that they traded jokes with up until two weeks ago? contemplated the state of our country and how amazing it is that she has lived through an ENTIRE century? she really and truly is so amazing, and for very selfish reasons I want her to get better so i can go see her again and resume our phone conversations. and this time i won't wait three days to call her back. I won't end the conversations, i'll let her do that. i want to squeeze in as much time as possible with her, but whe
n does it end? i know it's so selfish of me to want her to get better so i can talk to her, i can see her. me, me, me. when all she wants is to be done. while i really want to see her and hold her hand one more time and make her smile, i know the most gracious thing that could happen to her would be for her to fall asleep one night and not wake up the next morning. and for this to happen soon.

it's just so sad.

i just feel so imminently grateful that we had the chance to let her know we named our daughter after her. she is so important and will always be so important to us. i'm so glad annabelle can carry her name as her middle name forever. so, so glad for that. i feel so grateful for the memories of my times with her - a trip to hawaii when i was 10, laying on her couch and having her bring me tea and toast when mom dropped me off there on sick days, picking through her candy jar for all the non-pariels... i am so lucky to have had the relationship with h
er that i do: that we could tell each other we love each other every time we talk. that we could look forward to seeing each other every time i came down. that every christmas for at least the last ten years has been spent with her. i think with fondness of the coffee cakes she insisted upon making every year for christmas breakfast (sara lee!), and her oatmeal crisp cookies that she always made from scratch. i can remember her taking her dog for a "drag" when he was so old that he couldn't walk behind her. how she would never dare eat more than a half a sandwich. the look on her face when the little kids got to screaming. how much she HATES the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and would say, "This song is just awful!!" with her little ACK! And we would laugh. And as frustrating as it was at the time, i can maybe even laugh at the towel fiasco that we endured over Christmas (long story).

well, i'm off to say my prayers for nonnie now. i'll let you know what unfolds.



last weekend we were so lucky to be able to go up to pinecrest for a few days. ben's parents went up before us and got it all ready for us (SOOO nice, thank you!) and then my sister and her family met us up there! it all came together so last minute but we had so much fun. the kids and ben had been sick all week before (read prior post) and we were all seriously crawling the walls. we needed to get out of dodge, so we went!

somehow my sister and her family were able to find the perfect rental car for an amazing deal and were able to get away for a few days, too! we arrived on friday and stayed through monday. the kids had so much fun in the snow.
jake had a blast just face planting in the powder, rubbing it on his face, throwing snowballs at everyone... the girls preferred to shoot down the boat launch ramp on the snowboogies. cat and i ventured out on snowshoes (oy) in deep, powdery snow. what a workout.

at night we made fancy dinners (pink dinner for valentine's day, courtesy cat!) and busied ourselves with dominoes. we had such an amazing time. we're hoping to get back up there in a couple of weeks if ben doesn't have classes. i love the snow! (for a few days, anyway!)

**UPDATE - I had to add a video that my sister, Cat, took while sledding down the boat launch ramp at the lake. The sweet giggles you hear in the video are her 4 year-old daughter's, Annika. This video makes me laugh every time!!



everyone's sick. everyone but me, that is.
annabelle's first cold - it's not too bad, really, just a lot more liquid coming from her nose than an infant should ever experience. but thankfully, so far, no fever, cough or anything like that. i suppose she could even be teething. it's clear snotters... that's a good sign, right? anyway, the biggest problem is that she is an absolute paci girl and with a stuffy nose she can't suck on her pacifier. it's so sad! suck, suck, suck, sniff, sniff harder, cry! and so forth.
jakey has some bug - fever on and off for two days and a really nasty sounding cough. all day today he seemed like he was getting better then just before bed he started crying that he didn't feel well. sure enough the temperature was back up and his whole chest area sounds congested. i can hear him in there coughing as i type.
to top it all off ben ALSO has some other kind of bug. he feels horrible but his is more tummy than cold. it's all around me!! my mother-in-law was telling me about this study where the people who slept 8 hours were better able to survive the sickness so... goodbye late bird. time to hit the sack early tonight. i am praying to God i won't get sick!

fingers crossed....


report card?!

so today we had the pleasure of meeting with jakey's preschool teacher. it was our first parent-teacher conference ever. the first of many, i suppose! we weren't sure what to expect. of course at home we see all sides of mr. jake. he is so sweet, happy, respectful, polite... but he can also be mr. stinker, mr. contrary, whiny pants, sobbing his head off over um... very little... even telling a white lie here and there. like my last post stated, of course we think our kid is just the best, but it was very interesting to see jakey through his teacher's eyes.

apparently our little angel is considered the wanderer of the preschool class. every other kid is sitting where he/she is supposed to be, listening to stories, paying attention to the daily "lesson," and then there's jake... wandering the classroom, sprawling across the tabletops, sucking his thumb and laying on the floor. what?! i am a teacher for goodness' sake! my child is THAT kid?! ah, well... he's three. or at least that's what i'll keep telling myself. until may. then it will be, "he's four." i'm sure i'll always have an excuse. he's my kid! he can do no wrong! well, not often anyway!

anyway, it was very enlightening to see another adult's perspective on mr. jake. we are biased, and our lovely family is also biased (we love you guys for that). so to hear the opinion of someone we see on a weekly basis who may not be QUITE as in love with him as we are... it was definitely eye-opening.

and the control freak in me is determined to change that!!

cutest kids ever

of course i'm naturally biased when i say i have the cutest kids in the world... but really! they are amazing. lately they just look at each other and laugh and laugh. they love each other. annabelle can be crying her head off and take one look at jakey and just stop. he can be whining about one thing or another and see her start to get upset and all of a sudden all of his focus is on cheering her up. in his highest pitch voice he says, "baby girl!!! it's your brother here!!!" it's so sweet. they sit in the backseat of the car and just crack up at each other. it is to die for! just had to share. every mother thinks her kids are the cutest/best/sweetest... but i know mine are :)