Tuesday, August 11, 2009
On the day of my last post, I received a phone call in the afternoon letting us know that my Dad in Spain went into hospital on June 25. As a lot of you already know, he had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for the past few years and it had most recently developed into pulmonary fibrosis which got to the point where it was so difficult for him to draw breath that he was on a portable oxygen tank. One side effect of his condition was a weakened immune system and he ended up with pneumonia which is when Marina called the ambulance. Of course, since he was never one to admit weakness or a need for help, he was still protesting 'No, no, I'm fine' as the paramedics removed him on a stretcher. Despite my initial gut reaction to get on the next plane out to Las Palmas, I decided to stay home when we learned that he had been unconscious since he arrived at the hospital. I know that my Dad would not have wanted me to see him so incapacitated and I thought that I would fly out when he did regain consciousness. That never did happen, and he passed away one month ago today on July 11.
I still can't believe that he is gone and it feels so strange to update this site when one of the main people I created it for is no longer here to read it. He made many decisions in his life that many may find difficult to understand, but I do know that his one regret was the way his lifestyle resulted in such distance between himself and his children. Despite that physical distance we remained very close, and as I look around my home he is here in so many mementos and memories from the times we did spend together. I'm very appreciative of the wonderful people surrounding me who have supported me so much. I still expect to see that he's on facebook, or to receive a humourous email from him. I knew that when he sold his motorbike - his Yellow Bumblebee - recently that he was feeling increasingly imprisoned by his illness. He believed in and lived 'A lifetime of chance for a breath of freedom.'
Saturday, June 27, 2009
So, seeing as it's been a year since I last updated the site there's no way I'm going to try to sum everything up since the last post. The most important update since then would be Coen's arrival on December 19th (exactly as I'd planned!).
Now he's just over 6 months old and is growing so fast. He's able to stay sitting by himself and is desperate to begin crawling so he can keep up with his big brother! Caleb is adjusting well to having a little brother, although he is getting quite possessive over his 'big boy' toys.
So, what have we been doing most recently? Charles has been off on parental leave with me since the beginning of May which has been fantastic. It's allowed me to get together with some friends that I haven't seen in ages! Nicole, Jackie and I got together for the first time since completing the CITE teacher's ed program (10 years ago!)and Lisette brought Annika over to play with Caleb (they hadn't seen each other in over a year - which is a loooong time for a 2 1/2 year old!). We've been able to see the Tingstads a fair bit since Rina is off on mat leave as well (Owen was born in early February). Now that Caleb and Mattias are getting older they actually play together rather than just playing independently in the same area. Their temperaments are so similar that they make fantastic playmates. Coen and Owen aren't quite there yet, but I'm sure their time will come; it is so neat that the Tingstad boys are the same ages as our two. Caleb just completed his second session of 'SportBall' through Surrey Parks and Rec and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Basically they teach sport related skills (soccer, baseball, golf etc.) through a storytelling context to make it more accessible for the little ones. I'm pretty sure we'll be signing him up for SportBall Soccer in the fall.
As far as Charles and I go, we've been able to start having people over a bit more regularly since Coen has established a really consistent sleeping pattern at night. We've been spending a lot of time with the Tingstad and the Storness-Bliss families as well as with Steve and Cheryl. Board games (Apples to Apples, Catan) and Rock Band usually appear at some point in any given social evening! We've also had Kelly and Tomy over, and have even managed to see Mandy and Kevin from time to time!
Now, the actual summer break is here and we're looking forward to a relaxing couple of months. We have a few upcoming concerts (Mother Mother, Death Cab for Cutie, U2)and no summer would be complete without Bard on the Beach. This year we'll be seeing Othello with about 12 of our friends so we'll take up quite a large section! In August we'll be off to Kauai for Cristi's wedding. Caleb is really looking forward to going on an airplane and playing with diggers in the sand. Maybe we'll even be able to convince him to go into the water...
I'll be posting some of our most recent photos and will hopefully be updating the site more regularly, but we'll see :)
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Lucky for us, the past few months have flown by and now summer is almost upon us. Of course now I'm at the point where I wish it hadn't gone by quite so quickly as teaching days are rapidly running out and I had so much more I wanted to do!
We've had a low key few months. We've seen some great movies with friends and we've discovered a new restaurant. We went with Rina and Carl to Coza a few weeks ago and then we quickly introduced it to Kelly and Cori as well. I know we'll be back again in the near future. Caleb is growing and changing so much every day. His vocabulary is expanding rapidly as he's taken to imitating pretty much a every word and short sentence that he hears! He's been having a great time playing at the park with neighbourhood kids and he looks forward to daycare every Monday where he can play with his friends. We've been trying to get out to the park or beach pretty much every weekend (as long as the weather is cooperating) and now he always wants to be outside - even if just on the veranda.
I just returned from the grade seven camping trip and it was very successful - no trips to the hospital! Now the kids have pretty much checked out and are looking forward to Splashdown and then their Grade Seven Farewell Dinner and Ceremony. Just a few short weeks left...
We've been making some plans for the summer as well. We unexpectedly won 2 - 3 day passes for the Pemberton Festival (including accommodations in Whistler) and we're also going to see Jack Johnson, One Republic,The Taste of Red & White at Bard on the Beach, and Madonna (but not until October). Since we'll be off to Hawaii next summer for Cristi's wedding, we're planning on staying around here this year (except for the odd camping trip!)
This week we're heading out to Dublin Crossing to see The Little Brother Band and we may catch a movie if we have the time! Next week is the track meet (Charles is coaching discus/shot put and I'm coaching Long Jump) and Fun Day on Friday. I imagine the next time I write it'll be summer...
Monday, June 2, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Spring break is almost over and we've had a very relaxing time. It seems like the first week was spent doing things around the house and we're left with a second week for pure relaxation (well, almost!). Our last day of classes was the 14th and I had become so wrapped up in report cards that I completely neglected to make any birthday plans. So, on Saturday we popped out to The Vault with Kelly and Allison to see Wes play a solo show. Afterwards we went to Jared's house party where Charles got to try his hand at Guitar Hero before we headed home. On Sunday we were at Mom and Dad's for a birthday dinner with Chris and Cristi and on Monday we went to Dublin Crossing for St. Patrick's Day. We arrived just as Kelly, who had been waiting in line, reached the door so we were able to pop right in. We arrived around 3:30 and only had to wait a short time for a table. We enjoyed the various bands, the Irish Dancers, and, of course, the Guinness for many hours! After one evening in, we were out again on Wednesday night for dinner with parents of one of the students that Charles and I share. They wanted to take us, as well as others from their son's support team, out for a meal. Caleb accompanied us on this one and he had a great time at The Keg and was definitely the star of the evening. We were so proud of how well-behaved he was! In the first week we also purchased a new patio set and barbecue in preparation for some sunny weather...
On Sunday Mom and I went out with Cristi and Laura to look at wedding dresses. Of course she looked fantastic in everything, but I'm pretty sure she's narrowed it down to one or two. It was kind of like being at a fashion show! After a few shops we went for lunch at Burgoo in Lonsdale. Today we took Caleb to the Aquarium. He showed a lot more interest in the Belugas and Dolphins than last time, but was a little intimidated by the prehistoric looking fish! I've added some photos in the March folder. Aside from that, we've pretty much stayed in and rented some movies in the evenings this week. We've also been having a lot of fun with the new Karaoke game that we got after my students got me hooked on it! Charles has been spending some time helping out Rina and Carl with getting their new place ready which has allowed me to have quite a bit of one-on-one time with Caleb. I've also started a Bellydancing class. The Cardio-Pilates class that I usually take on Sundays was cancelled so my instructor suggested the Bellydancing class. I love it! I don't have quite as large a dancing wardrobe as some of the veterans, but I'm getting there! I was also encouraged to get my Pilates instructor certification, so I'm looking into that as well.
Tomorrow we're going to see The Little Brother Band at the Railway Club and on Saturday we're going to Eric and Lisa's for dinner. Ahhh...I wish Spring Break could be never-ending!
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Well, just when you think the craziness is over a whole new insanity begins! We've finished the basketball season and there seems to be a lull in the number of workshops that I've signed up for; however, ultimate season starts the week after Spring Break so we need to begin practices now and my student teacher is a couple of weeks into her practicum so the workload only increases from here on out (for both her and for me!).
We managed to complete our quest to see all of the Best-Picture nominated films prior to the Oscars as we took in both Juno (absolutely hilarious and touching at the same time) and There Will Be Blood (Daniel-Day Lewis was fantastic and completely deserving of the best-actor award!) just before the awards show. We also had Mom, Dad, David, Cristi, and Chris over for David's birthday before Mom and Dad left for Hawaii. I prepared a childhood favourite of his, Beefy-Cheesy Casserole and Dad's Caesar Salad. The meal was followed, naturally, by an Ice-Cream Cake (another of Dave's faves). Today we headed out to the Wired Monk and the Athletic Park with Rina, Carl, and Mattias. They've been so busy lately that it seems like ages since all of us were together, so it was really nice for the boys to play and to catch up.
Well, the next couple of weeks will probably be filled with report cards and mentoring my student teacher, Amy. Before we know it, we'll be into our two-week Spring Break!!