Life Lesson: Honesty.

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Last Saturday, Jaiden and I went to Minnesota Zoo with our dear friends Melissa & Miss Abby. It was a fun day!

Jaiden’s favorite thing since seeing Dolphin Tale movie, is going to see the dolphins and watch the show! 🙂 Newest fasscination is the OTTER, watching them play in the water, and going swimming, and spinning! 🙂 So much like his personality, and it matches who he is! 🙂 He LOVES the water, he enjoys swimming and he loves to spin all the time! 🙂

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That day was a valuable lesson for both of us, as a parent and as a child, in our own perspectives. We saw the bears walking around, and one sneaked away– we walked around and found the bear eating fish. Jaiden was a bit baffled, and was watching the bear eating the fish. He looked back to me, like what’s going on? What is the bear eating? Remember, we had just bury our Fish Blue couple days before, so he knows and understands somewhat that our fish died. I explained to him that the bear is hungry, and is eating the fish. He just stood there, and watched the entire time, leaving the little of the fish part and walked away.

Jaiden recently had his 3 year old check up, and I explained to his doctor about how I explained to Jaiden that Fish Blue died, instead of covering up by saying “sleeping,” she said that it is good thing! Many people try to cover up and not being honest, the child senses that, and the child can lose trust in you instantly. Last thing we want in our child(ren) is to not trust their own parents! If people use that as a cover up, saying the person/animal is “sleeping” when they are actually dead, is not good because it may create fear of sleeping in the child. Always be honest whenever possible, and explain clearly so the child understands. Be honest to your child, always. -M Image

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Happy Birthday Jaiden!

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Happy birthday to our son, Jaiden. Today, he turns 3 years old! My, where did all the time go!? Couple months ago, his oldest brother- Gavin had his birthday in Feb, then Mason had his birthday in March, we told him that his birthday was coming up soon, and that he would be 3! So for good couple of months, he keeps saying “soon 3!” 🙂  

This morning Jaiden woke up, walked towards me, and I said, how old are you today, he said 3! 🙂 I said, that’s right, it’s your birthday. Happy birthday son! And we cuddled for a bit with blanket wrapped around (our morning routine during the week since I’m up and awake before he does). Sweet moment. I love those small moments that means so much! 

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We baked mini-cupcakes for his birthday cake today. We’ll have a nicer one for his birthday party, which has been postponed to next month with the recent circumstances. Joe woke up, and joined us with the baking party- started baking pancakes for breakfast! Yum. 🙂 Little did Jaiden know what was our plan with the pancakes. 🙂 Joe stacked up the pancakes and put sparkles on it, as well as cherry (which he LOVES!), and added three lit candles! What a fun way to start our morning! 🙂 

Joe left to work, and then we left to Mall of America, and enjoyed a fun afternoon there together. Mommy and son time. We went on Swing & Log Chute rides for the first time, as well as other rides; but those two were the biggest rides of the day! We were able to capture such a great photo at the Log Chute. 🙂 I LOVE this picture! 🙂 I had to purchase it, no question!Image

We enjoyed a good lunch at Rainforest Cafe, we sat right next to the fishes and he was on his BEST behavior, ever (at the restaurant!)  Not even a peep come from him, and he was all in relaxing mood, sat down well and enjoyed looking around at the elephants mounted on the wall, butterfly fluttering, and fishes swimming by. Beautiful. Perfect Lunch Date! I didn’t come up with this idea until last night- I was cleaning and going through my coupon binders, and found that we had free kid meal (birthday) there, as well as $5 off $20, and both could be used! Woot! It was a GREAT deal, and we enjoyed a nice meal together. 🙂 He was getting sleepy towards the end, so we didn’t get the waitresses to come and sing him happy birthday, bummer. We left, and went back to enjoy some more rides and played with the legos as well. 🙂 

Then we came home, to get Joe, and headed to Petco. In between that, Jaiden grabbed some catnap, and woke up excited to get a new fish. RIP Blue- he passed away Wednesday, April 18th. STORY: I was cleaning and replacing the water in the fish home, and left Blue out in a cup waiting for the chemical to be dissolved. I went to sit down in the playroom for a bit, Jaiden comes and tells me that he “pour fish,” I thought he meant he pour the fish out in the sink, I’m like, oh no you did not! I ran into the kitchen, and found that fish was still in bowl, except the water was FULL of dish soap. Oh no! I then poured the fish into my hands, and quickly rinsed with lukewarm water, and put him in his home. He didn’t survive. 😦 So, next day, we gave him a proper burial, explaining that the fish died, I told him that we would get a new one tomorrow (today). Joe decided that it was his turn to name the fish, we all had our chances to name all of our animals, but him, and Jaiden agreed to it. 🙂 Our new fish’s name is Stick! So, yes, Fish Stick! LOL. I guess all of our pets are to be named as food/drink items: Cookie, Java, and now Fish Stick! Welcome to our weird family. 🙂 

We also bought some stuff to add to our fishes home too- to make it more “homey” because Brandon said that they had a pretty boring life, so I guess we need to spoil our fishes a little more. See what Joe meant, that all the animals live a better life than him! Ha ha ha. 🙂 

We ended our night with Noodles & Co for dinner- Jaiden LOVES Mac & Cheese, and keeps saying that he really likes it! 🙂 No doubt that’s true! 🙂 And also a VIDEO! 🙂 I saw somewhere in the magazine that it was a great idea to do video every year on their birthdays, and ask the same question every time. I decided not to ask the same question every time, just have him tell about his day. Fun, I can’t wait to do this again next year, in the meantime, we’ll enjoy life today! 🙂  One day at a time, for tomorrow isn’t promised. -M 

Uncle Robert’s Funeral Decisions

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Yesterday evening, we found out that my Uncle’s funeral would be in Liking, Missouri. That’s about 4 hours more of drive (not to mention stopping for eating/bathroom/gas breaks) one way than last Saturday (6 1/2 hour total last Saturday). Which means, that’s additional 8 hours of drive plus stops- which just seems a bit challenging- with a toddler.

Don’t get us wrong, Jaiden did a great job of putting up with such a long drive  last Saturday. Towards the end of the trip, he did become very crabby and wanted things his way. He would not reason with me at all- he wanted to HOLD his TV (DVD Player) that was strapped on the headrest of the passenger seat. Earlier, he did, and he broke it! Lucky, I’m have a knack of fixing things when need to be, I got it to work again, even after his Uncle tried to fix it! 😉 Yay. So, I told him he could not hold it anymore and that it’s staying on there from now and on (only for trips). The crabbiness lasted for about an hour, and the secret was Joe’s MOUNTAIN DEW! 🙂 He was a happy kid afterwards, didn’t have much left in there so Joe gave it to him to finish it off. Not the way I would have wanted it to be, however, it did the trick and he was calm for the rest of the trip home. 🙂  

Not only that, but that’s additional cost of gas, food, plus we would have to stay overnight at the hotel- it’s 10 1/2 hour drive, no way we could do it in one day like we did last weekend. After some serious thoughts, and discussion with Joe, we decided not to go to the funeral. It hurts me, but I know that if my Uncle was alive, he would just say that he’s grateful that we came down to see him last week, and not to worry about coming to his funeral. That’s just the type of guy he is, very laid back and “cool.” With that, I must make peace with that, and use our funds towards paying off our debts, instead of getting ourselves in more debt.

Also, with that being said, eventually I would like for us to purchase a water fountain, in memory of our loved ones: Baby C, Uncle Robert, Aunt Kathy, Joe’s brother Mark, Joe’s father, Joe’s other father- Ron, and so forth for those people that we have lost in our lives. That will be our summer project- including that to our landscaping. 

I’m definitely grateful that we had the opportunity to see Uncle Robert last week. Yet, I’m worried that I would be judged by others because of this decision we made. I should not worry about that, and just focus on myself, and our family. I’m the type of the person that does worry about what others think of me, and that is something I need to work on myself, not to worry about what others think of me/us. 

We will be keeping everyone in our thoughts and prayers the next several days as they lay Uncle Robert to his final resting place on Saturday afternoon. We love you all! ❤ -M 

Uncle Update & Donate.

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This past weekend, when we saw Uncle Robert, he was still responsive. He even sat up on his bed, and walked to the bathroom all by himself like a trooper that he has always been! I did find it very hard seeing him the way he was, and couldn’t help thinking, really– it took them this long to find out that he has cancer in his blood. Makes me upset, and it makes our family upset too.The simple fact that my Uncle went to hospital on weekly basis to get rid of fluids his body accumulated due to his kidney issue he was having. He was on waiting list for years, I mean, YEARS- over 5 years, for a new kidney. Still, I cannot help wondering, why did it take them so long to find out that he has cancer in his blood?  When they found out he had that, my Uncle was given two weeks to live. You can image the utter shock when my family found this out. He was given hope years ago, he was hanging onto it that he would eventually get a new kidney. No luck, as soon they found out he had cancer, he was taken off the list immediately. I cannot help but feel that Missouri does not have a good health care. Yes I’m upset. We are fortunate to live in Minnesota, we have excellent medical teams throughout the State, and have wonderful health care.

Monday night, my Uncle Robert was in so much pain. He couldn’t keep down any fluids & food, he was feeling starved. He was unable to get rid of his waste. That makes me wonder if anyone from the Nurse/Hospital encouraged him to drink prune juice? I remember when my Grandpa Eugene was dying, I remember that he drank prune juice. It really helps. Heck, I have even used it with Jaiden when he was struggling at one time.

Tuesday morning, he became unresponsive. 😦 On Tuesday evening, April 17th, he passed away. My cousin Whitney sent me a text to say “He’s gone” 😦 The world stood still, it literally frozen, my heartbeat skipped a beat- I started sobbing. I’m upset. I’m very sad. I’m also happy that he’s not suffering anymore, and not in pain, yet, this is a man we all loved very much and I miss him so much!

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This is a good time to ask all of you to consider adding “D” to your Driver License (or Identification Card)– to donate your body parts when you pass away. The day I passed my driving test, and went into DMV to fill out paperwork for my driver license, I added “D” to donate. I am happy to know that when I pass away, I’ve given others a chance to live their life with any body parts. Lets join, add D to your DL/ID, and give life! 
Thank you all for the love, thoughts and prayers. Hugs. -M

Our Day Trip to Missouri.

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Yesterday morning, we woke up at 3:45am, and quickly got ready, loaded up the car, set up DVD player (thank you Papa for that!). Lauren and Brandon arrived, and we took off, filled up our car with gas and got coffee for Joe. We hit the road by 4:45am, along with dense fog we had. Hard to see, it’s still dark outside, and we literally had our eyes opened on the road the entire time. We couldn’t wait until the sun comes up, thinking that the dense fog would pass… Nope, as outside become brighter… sun couldn’t come through, it was still fog at 6am… 7am…  I checked my phone, the weather bug said that we were under dense fog advisory through 9am! Just before we got into Missouri when the fog finally lifted up. Still, there were no sun.

We met up with my mom, grandma Marjorie, aunt Barb and cousin Darrell for a quick-lunch at Waffle House. Much to my shock, a male was sitting at the end of the restaurant, smoking! What? I thought there were law throughout the United States that were no smoking in any restaurant? Maybe it’s just certain states, for which I’m THANKFUL that Minnesota banned smoking all/any buildings (except for Casinos). Nothing beats to the heart of our stomach, breakfast meals!!! 😀 Our food was absolute delicious! We were stuffed, and ready to go see Uncle Robert, & rest of the family. During our final stretch to see Uncle Robert, 10 miles of driving, up and down on zillion hills, sun finally peeks out of the clouds, Jaiden saying “wheeee” every time we went down the hill. 🙂 It was calm and a perfect drive. We saw many cows, baby calves! Oh, and yes, we cannot forget, my favorite, HORSES! I dream of owning a horse someday.

Weston, Missouri was absolute BEAUTIFUL rusty small town, yet they had “lively” downtown, beautiful homes, and many antique stores. We went to Uncle Robert’s home, yes, he was discharged from the hospital on Friday, and went home with hospice care. It’s official, no turning back. Nurse had just left, and I was greeted by my cousin Danielle who I haven’t seen in years! And her beautiful girls who all were excited to see all of us, definitely not the shy type you usually see in kids. Right away, they all wanted to be picked up and sit on our hips (that includes Joe, Brandon and Lauren), like Jaiden was on mine, as we walk and chat. 🙂 Zoe right away asks Jaiden to go play with him in the backyard. My cousin Whitney comes out, and we give her a birthday cake as her birthday was couple days before– 19 years old. We also said hellos to my aunt Tammy.

We come inside and see our cousin Levi, who we also haven’t seen in YEARS. Such a fine gentleman he has turned out to be. We see Uncle Robert sleeping in his bed in living room. Nurse said it was time for his nap just before she left, so we chat, and get caught up with news, Jaiden plays with my cousin’s kids and all is good. I’m standing there, and thinking… how is that even possible. Reality hasn’t really set in that he’s dying. I just wanted him to wake up, so I could give him a hug. He finally wakes up, and falls right back to sleep… 10 minutes later, he’s actually awake, and looked over to grandma, asks her to come over right away. Aww. My heart just ached. No mother should ever bury their own child, yet, Grandma’s going through loss of 4th child in her lifetime (two in the past three years, Robert will be her 3rd in three years). I see her, she’s standing and talking, yet, staying strong. My Grandma’s truly a STRONG woman.

Everyone goes to say hi to Uncle, and he sees Jaiden running around, and says “Hey JJ” and he looked around, smiled and said hi and goes right for me. That’s when I finally come up to him and say hi, gave him a HUG. He asks how I am doing, and I said I’m good. I wished at the moment, I had banana bread that Jaiden and I made for him, but I had already given it to aunt Tammy, and it was sitting in the kitchen. I’m really not good with words, let alone having difficult time communicating with my family, yet, I LOVE my family, bottom of my heart. I ended up just looking and watching him the entire time, pet their turtle (Thanks cousin Whitney for showing me how!), watching Jaiden run around and play with the kids. Three hours later, Uncle Robert was going back for his 3rd nap since we were there, we bid our final goodbyes and he hugged me firmly, I said my dad said hi (Thanks to my brother, Brandon, for interpreting that) and I had to quickly walk away. I grabbed Jaiden and headed for the bathroom while I tried to stop myself from crying. Jaiden went potty, then I went, and we said goodbyes to rest of the family, and left. I have cried plenty this past week, and I know I will cry more. I just needed to stay strong for my whole family.

Off we went, headed right back home and tried to somehow beat the storm that was heading our direction. It rained on/off, lightly and as soon we hit Des Moines, we knew we were in the middle of it. We stopped for dinner at Pizza place (new place we tried this year!, so that makes it THREE!). It’s pouring really hard… we look outside, and it’s lightning. Radio comes on and says we’re under flash flood warning. We enjoy our pizzas, then we got back in the car and continued our trip back home. It’s raining hard. Cars are driving slow. Cars are driving fast. We could barely see the road, at this point, we just want to be home. Rain finally lights up just shortly before we entered Minnesota, and then it became windy. What’s next, we wondered.
Nevertheless, we were just glad to be safe, and still on our way home. We finally pulled into our driveway right at 11pm! That’s the story about our 19 hours trip. Thank you all for the prayers for a safe trip. Needless to say, it was a terrible day for driving. So thankful for the chance to see Uncle Robert again, and get couple more hugs from him.  – M

Thoughts on Today.

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I wanted to share about couple of thoughts I had today.

As you know about the news I found out yesterday about my dear Uncle. I was trying to decide about whether we should go visit him at the hospital, or not. Initially, I did decide that we would not go visit him because I wanted to give him the space, and allow him spend time with immediate family members. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what I needed to do or decide. I talked with my future sister-in-law, Lauren, this morning and it came to me, that I SHOULD text and ASK my Uncle, what HE WANTS. So, I sent him a text, and asking him, as well as letting him know that I would understand and respect whatever decision he makes, if he would like for us to come down and visit him. Few hours later, he sent a reply and said “I would love to see you and JJ,” and I replied back “it’s a date!” I’m feeling at peace with this decision, and am looking

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forward to spending time with him this weekend! So, Kansas City, Missouri- here we come on Saturday! 🙂 Moral of this story, is to make sure that we don’t assume what the person wants, and we should always ASK what the person wants. Awesome. I’m glad I realized that today before it’s too late, so I will be able to see him one more time! Can’t wait!

On another lighter note about today-  I’m always working hard and that sometimes I forget to have some fun! Today we went, and as we walked towards Nickelodeon Universe, Jaiden stopped there and said “YES!” 🙂 I knew right away, that we would have so much fun. Off we went, riding on rides together and ending with a ride by himself at Blue’s Skidoo! It was such a fun afternoon, and we stopped by at Dairy Queen on our way home to get a chocolate ice cream cone. Jaiden wanted it all, and wouldn’t share with me. I managed to sneak in and stole the ice cream, twice, and had some bites before giving it back to him. Yum. Yes, I should have gotten two, one for him, and one for me. Next time! 🙂

And of course, upon arriving home, Jaiden decides to play a little prank on mommy! He goes running right for the water and hose, turns it on, and start spraying at mommy. The only way to turn it off is to run towards him, yes, I got little wet in the small water fight we had! 😉 I guess somehow, he thought I deserved this after treating him to a fun day today! 😉

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Be sure to find some time in your busy lives to have some fun, celebrate life, for tomorrow is not promised to us. Image

Life Comes in Full Circle.

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I woke up this morning at 5:30am to receive a text from Guy, my mom’s husband, saying that there was no other way to share the bad news. My dear Uncle Robert (my mom’s brother) was given 2 weeks or so to live.

My first thought… Why him? I’m reminded that God works in mystery ways. I pray that God takes away his pain and suffering. I know in my heart that my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Kenneth (&&  his sister, Mary, whom I never met) are on his bedside as Angels, & preparing for his arrival in Heaven. This image, makes me smile, and know that Uncle Robert is in good hands.

Not long ago, I read an article about dying people’s regrets. Here’s the article, it’s a quick & good reading: http://www.inspirationandchai.com/Regrets-of-the-Dying.html

Life’s a journey, Carpe Diem (Seize the Moment)!

Do you have life’s bucket list? Things you want to do, and see before you die? It’s never too late. I need to create one for myself. Another project to tackle this week, perhaps?

-M