Monday, June 15, 2015

The second-to-last day of school.

Well, I've pretty much made it to the end at this point. Lunches are packed for tomorrow and I'm getting ready to make the kids' "last day of school" signs. Plans have been made for post-school ice cream celebrating. I just went by the school to watch Ethan eat his "summer birthday kid" popsicle. He was less than excited to see me. This is the same kid who sobbed for a good 20 minutes last night at the idea of growing up and having to move away from me. I really never know where I stand with those children.

I've been spending the last week and a bit frantically scheduling all the things that I can't do easily when the kids are at home. Dentist appointments and pedicures and hair cuts and such. Even though I knew the end of school was coming, the reality of them being home all day hadn't occurred to me until it was almost too late. I'm very quick these days.

No good news on the Daniel's dad front. He's been in the hospital since Wednesday, after a bad reaction to a medical test. Still waiting for test results. Every so often, Daniel and I just look at each other and say "THIS SUCKS." There is no other term for watching a parent go through something like this. We know that he will either get better or he will get to go be with Christ in heaven, and we will see him again someday. I'm just not ready for this. Prayers greatly appreciated.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The horrible week that was simultaneously also pretty good. This makes my head hurt.

It's 70 degrees and the sun is shining and a breeze is blowing. It's Friday morning at 11:30 and I've only been up for a little while because this morning was Dads and Donuts day in Vivian's class, so Daniel had to take the kids to school. Birds are literally singing in the trees right outside my dining room, where I am sitting and typing this. And the baby who lives next door is babbling and laughing with her grandmother. Right in front of me is a gorgeous flower arrangement that I got at the first day of the local farmer's market. We had dinner there last night, so I didn't have to cook.

The flowers. 

It's been a good week. The kids are done with homework and we've more or less commenced our summer slothfulness, despite still having a week and a half of school to go. Early slothfulness is okay though, because my kids teachers are also pretty much counting the minutes. Vivian's teacher tore her rotator cuff this past weekend and is in pain and Ethan's teacher is in the first trimester of pregnancy and feels awful. So it's a mutual limp across the finish line.

But in the middle of this pretty good week, we got a phone call that felt like a slap across the face. Daniel's dad has been having an assortment of health issues for a while now and finally got in for tests (they live in Canada. Enough said). And in the middle of Daniel's phone conversation in Chinese with his mom, he suddenly spoke English to me and said "Dad has lung cancer". And then went back to talking to his mom about the details. 

Daniel's parents speak English, but definitely have issues with understanding in some situations. Even with people who know their comprehension level. So here's how the information has been traveling around the family. Daniel's parents are given information by their doctors (whose names are Indian and so they may or may not have accents, I do not know). Daniel's mom tells Daniel what's going on, in Chinese. He tells me in English. No one really understands the medical terms or tests, so translating it back and forth is particularly complicated. 

Yesterday, Daniel's sister-in-law went and got the report from the doctors to scan to send to Daniel's brother who, of course, happens to be in Asia right now on business. They also sent the report to me and I translated it into basic-er terms, because I am a scientist by training and have worked on a lot of cancer issues and everyone else in the family is an accountant or computer programmer or something related. And the news right now is that there are still a lot of questions about what stage and what to do for treatment. His next test to find out more is another week from now, so we wont know much more for a while. 

We've watched a lot of people around us go through this battle of parental illness. It's not something we've personally dealt with. As it happens, neither have our parents.  All of our grandparents either died young, had abandoned the family years before (yes, this happened with multiple of our grandparents) or died suddenly in their sleep. My mom's mom is still going strong. We've been really fortunate in that way. 

Prayers appreciated as we go down this unexpected path. 

Monday, June 1, 2015


Okay, so a couple of things are baffling me. One- it's June? June already? And why are we still not done with school... we still have more than two weeks to go....

And secondly- how is my tiny baby a 6-year-old now? I just don't know how to deal with this. Six. I have two big kids, not little kids. MY BABY IS SIX!!!

We spent the weekend in Portland and had an absolute blast. It was a perfect birthday weekend with lots of fun activities, dinner with friends, lunch with the kids' great grandmother, shopping at IKEA (actually, that turned out more stressful for mom and dad than fun, but whatever. Bathroom remodel. Stay tuned). We had perfect weather and good food and just an all around good time together. 

So, Vivian on her 6th birthday. She's a darling little girl with a steel core hidden beneath the fluff. She still cannot be bribed, pushed, or negotiated with if she doesn't want to do something. But when she does, she inevitably will do it easily and well. She loves to cross monkey bars, hula hoop and jump rope. Biking she is relatively apathetic about. Same with school things except recess. She has a good group of little friends at school and loves her kindergarten teacher.  She loves presents and pandas and panda presents. 

She still prefers sleeping with Mommy to sleeping in her own bed, although progress is being made. I know that one day that snuggly little girl wont sleep next to  me anymore, so I don't worry too much about it. She loves playing with her brother and taking care of him and talking about their mutual imaginary friends. 

Most of all, Vivian is a princess. She still loves wearing dresses every day and prefers to have on a crown as often as possible.  She's definitely my daughter :)

Vivian challenges me and makes me laugh and makes me smile and makes me crazy and I wouldn't have it any other way. Daniel and I are so blessed to have her in our lives.