Sunday, April 10, 2011

Some Special Days for the Boys and Summer's Coming!

I'm in my 'good' emotional time of the month right now. You know, not the one where I make mountains out of mole hills and constantly lose my cool, but instead the I-Love-You-So-Much-I-Could-Cry-Week. It's a good thing that this time exists each month. It's a good time to collect my thoughts, think about priorities, and to think about all the things for which I'm thankful. For instance, my wonderful husband, Richard.

I cannot believe that just a little over two years ago, we were hit with the turn-your-life-upside-down news of Richard's Leukemia.

There has been some really nice weather. Good enough to wear shorts even. Not me, of course, just the boys. The thought of summer makes me think of Leukemia, good friends, good family, and love. I don't know if summer will always make me think of Leukemia, but for now, it still does.

I don't say things like this out loud too often unless I'm 'confiding' so to speak, but I have to say there have been times these past two years, especially when Richard's been really sick, that I have wondered how many special family outings Richard would still be able to enjoy.

Summer approaches again now, and I'm thinking positively. I'm thinking this is the summer of good-stuff. I don't know what it is yet, but I know it's coming.

Here's some of that good-stuff. Richard's been starting to feel a bit better (despite numbness and tingles in his extremeties). Going up stairs is still taking a lot out of him, but look at him on these outings with us.

Okay, well, actually, I don't think he's in ANY of the pictures! But still, that is a testament to how well he's been feeling. He out enjoying special family days AND he's taking many of the pictures.

I'm hoping summer is filled with these special days.

The portion written about the conservatory is dictated by AJ. He spoke, and I wrote.

The Conservatory

"What are we doing there?
Me and Dexter, actually, I could say Alton and Dexter..... Alton and Dexter ... no, don't type that again, Mom. I was just starting over.
We're in that big jungle place and me and Dexter are looking at the birds."

"We're looking at the fish. Coi fish."

"Me and Dex are looking at the trees in the big jungle. Rain forest. In the big Rain forest."

"Ooooh, me and Dex are looking at flowers. A green and white plant, hmmmm, and a yellow flower, and one two three four.... you don't need to write that!.... ummm, four yellow plants. Ummm? Why did you write that?"

"Me and Dex are looking at the Macaw parrot."
"Me and Grand-Dan are looking at more plants. There are lots of plants around here."
"It was a good day. That's Dex. He's doing a karate man stop."

"That's me. You don't need to write that! (laughs). This is me and Grand-Dan. We are looking at plants. There were lots and lots and lots and lots of plants around here and birds."

"I don't know what these are called. Do you remember? Grand-Dan told you! (reads what I typed). You silly!!!
Me and Dad are looking at droopy plants."
"Oh, I don't know what I want to say about these. I don't know what they're called. You don't need to write that! Ahhh, you silly! (laughs). You funny-head. (laughs more). There are more and more and more and more and more and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of flowers."

"Me and Dex are writing our names and I am writing Abbotsford. That's all!"

"Hmmmmm. I'm trying to fly."

"Hmmm. You don't need to write that! You don't need to write that either! (laughs hysterically). Hmmm, me and Dex are trying to fly together, holding hands."

"But when we jumped, we let go of each other."

"Dexter fell down at ....hmmmm.... hmmmm... let's see.....ummm... Dex, what's the place called.... Dexter fell down at the conservatory. Dexter was crying and sad. And, ummm, hmmmmm....I need to go to the bathroom."

"I, AJ, am riding on Grand-Dan's shoulders, and he is holding my hands. It was fun!"

"Grand-Dan was chasing us on the grass over by the water park sprayer thing. He pretended that he wasn't going to chase us anymore, and then he did! It was funny. And scary! Like, AAAAHH!
Dexter, me, Grand-Dan, and Mommy were going to the van. Daddy took the picture."

Okay, back to Mommy as the narrator.

On The Discovery Trail

So, do you know 'why' this happened to Dexter's face? Not 'how', but 'why'? I'll tell you why. About five days prior to this, I was discussing the need for a family portrait. A great picture of Richard, myself, and the boys. Whenever I'm planning or booking portraits, Dexter goes and gets all banged up. It's a guarantee.

Ouch. Here's the 'how'. Dexter thinks that he should be able to do all the things that AJ can do. For instance, he thinks that he should be able to ride his scooter down a hill at top speed just like his brother. I explained, as I do every time, that AJ's scooter has a brake, and Dexter's doesn't. I explained that AJ is five years old, and that Dexter is only three. I said, just go slowly. And off he went. Picture an arabesque-style stance. Balancing on one leg while the other is off behind him. Going way faster than his toddler scooter is meant to go. I should maybe just get him a two-wheeled scooter already. He can ride one. It's just such a scary thought. Anyhow, the handle bar started to wiggle and over he toppled. He didn't actually land on his face. Rather, he landed on his side, but the continued momentum pushed him onto his face to finish the skid.
When he started going too fast, I guess I could have ran after him, but the fact is that often I'm wrong. Often, Dexter is totally capable of something. He does know how to stop his scooter without a brake. So, who am I to say that it's possible he can pull off this feat.

I was wrong.

And, he was up and off again. It was a beautiful day. So sunny!

It sure wasn't Dexter's day. Shortly before taking this picture, Dexter had tripped on the gravel and skinned his hand... bloody and all.
And right before these pics of the boys playing with sticks in the mud, Dexter was over in the previous field, running through the wet grass and lost his shoe in a big sticky mud puddle. In fact, I couldn't find his shoe for about a full 1.5 minutes, while he stood there screaming in a Karate-Kid pose with his sock-foot up in the air.

Out of the corner of my eye, about ten feet away, I saw the red DC symbol on the tongue of his shoes peaking out of the top of a giant muddy puddle. I had to pull hard to get it out of the mud, rinse it off in another cleaner puddle, and then convince him to put it back on.

A Summer of Trips to Eagle Mountain Approaches

I sat up here a little while with the boys with the sun beating down, and for the first time in a long time, not freezing from the horrid wind up here. Shortly after, I texted Jen to tell her I was sitting in the sun and looking forward to an awesome summer that I titled 'the best summer yet'.

Erica came up a few minutes later. The four kids played, and I subsequently came home with a sunburn!!! It was shocking and exciting!

Summer's coming!

The Aquarium

Richard's parents, Norma and Bud, came to Abbotsford from Friday to Saturday to go to the Rock and Gem Show and to visit us. Friday night, they came for a visit and to have Butter Chicken. The boys (and us, of course) were so excited to see them. AJ was quite pleased that Bud was okay with him crawling all over him. They gave out some big hugs. AJ was pretty sad when it was time for them to head to the hotel.

The next day, we had all planned to go the the Vancouver Aquarium.

There's Grannie with the boys!
You can just see a bit of Papa-Bud behind Grannie there. And, the side of myself.

OH dear. Dexter's starting to make weird faces for pictures like AJ used to do.


Water Snakes (not the scientific term).

The very rare and exotic AltonJamesClarkus.
Joined by the equally rare and sometimes mischievous, DexterAlexanderClarkus.

Beluga Whales if I'm not mistaken. We had just come down here after watching the Beluga Whale Show.
Richard and I were feeling guilty that we put the kaibosh on Papa's attempt to get the boys some ice cream. Papa just wanted to do something special for the boys and we were just thinking of the horribly sticky hands they'd be putting all over the glass! What we didn't realize was that Grannie and Papa were going to be leaving soon after to go catch their ferry. Had we clued in, we would've said 'sure' to ice cream. Sorry about that, Papa!

The sloth up at the ceiling.

A diver in one of the big tanks. He was giving the kids high fives through the glass.

Diego Rescue Packs

The boys just can't get enough of "Diego" lately. Diego is Dora's cousin, for those who may be unfamiliar. Here's Diego...

Between exploring and saving animals like Diego and trying to solve mysteries, AJ has really had a hankering for a Diego Rescue Pack. I told him I could probably whip something up for him and Dexter.

I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head. "YOU can make a Rescue Pack?"

To which, I had to clarify that it will NOT have the magical ability to turn into things like a zipcord, a snowboard, a kayak, or a parasail. It will just be a backpack, just like the ones he uses downstairs, but it will be orange and have a face, just like Diego's.

He was still pretty excited. He helped me look through all of my material for my orange fabric that I was pretty sure I still had, but no. Couldn't find that. Next we raided Daddy's side of the closet. I was sure I could find something that I didn't like Richard wearing.

Daddy was none-too-pleased that we wanted to cut up the shirt that he affectionately called his "Hallowe'en Shirt". I was all too happy to be able to get rid of a dress shirt with zippered pockets.

So, I cut it to make two bag type shapes. Pinned it.

Used the strips of buttons and button holes, as is, to pin and sew on too.

Used the sleeves to make what would be the straps.

Sewed an oval shape to the bottom.
Painted faces on, and voila.

Not to scale, and not proportional, Rescue Packs.

The boys enjoyed them, a lot.

That's the other side that has the strap that goes across them.
I have to fix those straps. I should've sewed them to the middle of the top, instead of coming out the side of the top. Unfortunately, just as I was finishing up, my needle broke. All I have left are denim needles and those needles DO NOT like it when you use regular thread.

Soon the machine was jamming up and my curse words were flying.

The boys were in bed, of course, and didn't hear any of that.


Thanks Norma and Bud for a nice visit and the trip to the aquarium. We hope to get out your way near the end of the month!

Thanks Dad for meeting up with us after the aquarium and treating us to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory! I haven't been there in a long time!


Tara said...

The reascue packs are awesome!

I can't believe how BIG these boys are getting! They just look so grown up all of a sudden!

And...yeah...Dex that is one hell of a goose egg.

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

Thanks, Tara! Yes, they're growing way too fast!