Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quickie snow fun

We had a ton of snow come out of nowhere. So, what do we do while waiting for Shane to get out of school and we have 15 minutes to kill outside of the school. Play in the snow! It was awesome. Myann only lasted a minute because the wind was pretty strong. Anders was thrilled and chasing me with snowballs, so I kept kicking snow on him.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hawaiian Goodbye

Some of our good friends up and decided to move to Hawaii. I mean seriously, why would you choose to leave our snowy cold weather for 80 degrees and beautiful paradise?

Last photo of the kids together.

Friday, February 18, 2011

My last ski day

Jen and I fit in a quick few hours of skiing while Shane had lessons.
Then Shane and I did a few runs together. He wanted to ski the trees, but I thought better given the fact that I am almost 5 months pregnant.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Myann the future vet

Myann repeatedly tells us that she is going to be a veterinarian, well that and a superhero. Since the vet part seems slightly more realistic, I thought I would take her with me for Maddox's vet appointment. Maddox had a sore that he would not let heal, so off to the vet. Myann was beyond excited and when we told the vet tech and vet about her aspirations, they gave her the full visit. They brought in x-rays for her to look at and then the vet brought out lots of tapeworm and roundworm specimens. Myann was fascinated. She also took it upon herself to be Maddox's personal caregiver.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Brian and I are not fans of Valentine's Day, but with kids you have no choice. To them it is a celebration of love and they have no idea that it is a manufactured holiday. So this year I decorated the house and did more than I normally would, not to mention the over 100 cards that we had to do for school parties and playdates. Also, I was thrilled to be able to go to Myann's school party and Shane's. No pictures from Shane's since I was busy leading math bingo. Myann's was more low key since I mostly stuffed valentines into bags. Here is Myann hamming up since she was quite happy to have me there.

As for my dear hubby, we do not do Valentine's Day, but Happy 12 Year Anniversary of meeting. I love you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hair cuts

Today's hair cuts went great, like really great. All 3 kids cooperated and we even attempted to go a little different on cuts. Anders - I finally went a bit shorter and Shane wanted to go a bit longer. This is the first time that Shane has ever had a strong opinion about his hair and he was adamant that he keep it a bit long. Myann was in a super sweet mood too.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where we are now

I owed Alex a better post than leaving my initial reaction to his passing up for so long. The night he passed was rough, the roughest of my life. I did not sleep, I could not and had to be up at 3:30am to catch my flight, so it seemed pointless. The flight there was horrible, I cried the whole way and made the flight attendants quite nervous. However, the man sitting next to me was oblivious and kept talking about football. A wonderful friend picked me up from the airport and I went straight to my mom's where she held me while I cried. The irony, since I thought I was going to console her. But that is my mom, a woman created to be a mom, every fiber of her being goes into being a mom.

Everyone from our very large extended family arrived throughout the week for the services to be held the following weekend. Seeing friends and family really did help. Being with other people who truly knew and loved Alex provided comfort in ways I never knew. My girlfriends Heather and Michelle knew better than I did since they both arrived the same night as me, and just said we are here when you need us. I had said not to come yet, but they did anyway, and I was so glad they did.

I am still working through my thank yous, as are my mom and Danielle, because there are so many to do. The number of people who helped our family during the week and for the services was unbelievable. So many people donated their talents, resources, time, money, food, groceries, and the list goes on. And not only did family fly in, but friends from all over the country. It was amazing. Before this, I was not much for going to funerals unless I personally knew the person. I always felt funerals were private for close family and friends. But for the first time I can appreciate the people who came who did not even know Alex but were touched by his story, or came to support the family, or came to tell us that Alex had done something kind for them this one time. It was appreciated and meant a lot.

My sister-in-law, Danielle, has always been amazing and an inspiration, but she has reached a whole new level of remarkable. She showed strength unlike anything I have seen before. Not only did she have to grieve, help her children grieve, and plan the services, but then my poor niece ended up with strep throat and then the flu. On nights when Danielle should have been trying to sleep, she was cleaning up after a sick child. I tried to help, but Danielle was so concerned about my pregnancy, that she did not want me doing too much to expose myself. In the midst of everything, Danielle still managed to pull together a weekend of beautiful services. She set out to celebrate Alex's life and she succeeded. Never in my life would I have expected to laugh so much at the services and feel as if Alex was right there with us. The summary of the memorial service was that Alex was found attractive by both men and woman of all ages and sexual preferences. Alex would have been proud, since vanity was one of his vices. However, people also talked about his unique ability to make people feel special. He truly had a gift, probably why he was such a good salesman. Then Alex left a 26 minute eulogy that he had recorded in October 2010. It was a gift. I do not know how else to explain it, but he spoke with such wisdom and from the heart. It just made me so proud of the man he became, but so sad that the world lost such an amazing man.

So where are we now? I miss Alex a lot. The crying has become less frequent than it was in those early days, but I miss him even more. When Alex passed, I told my friend that I could not wait until it got easier and her response was, "Good luck." I did not get it, I thought that not everyone goes around crying when they lose someone, so it must get easier. Now I get it. The crying has decreased, I am not consumed all day with pain, but I miss him. I miss him whenever I see his car drive by. I miss him when I hear trance or house music. I miss him when my kids do something that I would have called to tell him. I miss him when it is quiet in the car or quiet as I fall asleep. I miss him when I see a David Yurman advertisement. I miss him when I think of any part of my childhood. And I have it easy compared to my parents, and Danielle, and Lexi and Austin who have to miss him all of the above times and all the other times since he was such a part of their daily lives. As for Danielle and the kids, they seem to be doing well. We are hoping to see them soon.

Thank you for the monetary donations to Lexi and Austin's college funds, the donations to the Alex Laynor foundation, and for the cards, emails, and flowers.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sweet Myann

Just a perfect photo of Myann and Katie, Myann being super sweet that is.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Aunt Sunny's visit

I am cheating a bit here, because I wanted to blog part of Sunny's trip here. I took some of these things off Sunny's facebook page. Sunny flew in to take care of the kids so I could immediately fly to Dallas when Alex passed away. Brian got her settled in and then joined me in Dallas. Sunny then stayed a week after I got back. I knew she would have liked to go to the funeral, but was so thankful that she came here to take care of my kids.

Need an esteem pick-me-up, come visit my nephews and niece. SHANE: 'Tina is the best baby-sitter in the world' ME:'Yes, Shane. Tina is an amazing baby-sitter, but I thought that I was the BEST baby-sitter?' SHANE: 'No, silly. You're not the best baby-sitter, you're the BEST AUNT in the world!'

I was going to add the disclosure that he probably said that because I had just gotten him a present, took him out to eat wherever he wanted and fed them airline cookies for breakfast. I basically "paid" for that compliment.

The lesson that I learned from my 5 yr old nephew and 4 yr old niece tonight is: 'I have big woman boobies and Myann wants to have BIG woman boobies like Aunt Sunny. Little girls have little girl nipples'. Shane then added: 'Little boys just have nipples and boys should never have boobies'....

I wish that video monitors had a built in video recorder. My nephew says and does the funniest stuff in his crib before falling asleep. Right now he is singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in a rap/metal version of the song, while headbanging along to his rendition. So dang cute!

Conversation over breakfast with my dear nephew...

Shane: Aunt Sunny you love kids and you take care of us really well, so when are you going to have your OWN kids.

Me: I don’t know, Shane. It just hasn’t been the right time yet.
Shane: But aren’t you over 30 or over 32?'

Me: Yes, Shane.

Shane: Well, you should definitely hurry up and have some kids then, cause otherwise you will be TOO OLD!

Ander's goodbye: 'I want a kiss' and he kissed my lips, and then both of my cheeks...precious. Shane's goodbye: 'But I'll miss you. I didn't get to do enough with you. How many days until you come back?'. Myann's goodbye: 'I wish you didn't have to leave. You could just stay here. I love you, Aunt Sunny'. I also got the longest hugs from Myann and Shane. I love them so much and already miss them!!!

And worst for Sunny but amusing to me, was that Sunny had a bad fall off a stool while she was here. Over a month later, Anders still gets up looks at the stool and says, "Aunt Sunny fell off the stool and went Boom." Thankfully she did not break anything, but had a few sore places and bruises.