Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24 - 29, 2014 - SF

Monday, February 24.  It was a good morning to go to the beach and I had never been to Chrissy Field, so that is where Charlotte and I headed.  That kid loves the beach and is always a good choice. As soon as we parked and walked toward the beach, she shed her jacket, shoes and socks.  I realized I did not come prepared with a hat or sunscreen, so asked a passing Mom if she had sunscreen, and she was willing to share.  Charlotte was impressed with their toys, so she and Lucas played together for a while.

We walked over to a pier where we had heard the barking sounds of Seals.  I caught a glimpse of one but it disappeared before Charlotte could see it.  As we were walking along the pathway, a man who was jogging passed us and she began to run.  When she stopped running, she said "I'm not a running girl any more, I'm a walking girl now".  She also got all lovey and told me she wanted to wrap her arms around me.  These times with just the 2 of us together are so much fun.

Wednesday, February 26.  Jill is getting ready for work, Norah is screaming her head off when she is supposed to be taking a nap, Camille is sleeping right through it, and all this after Charlotte used every diversionary tactic known to avoid going to Maggie's today.  Those tactics also led to 2 timeouts, but then she was totally agreeable in the car on the way there.  Got a 2-year old?  So that is how this morning has started.  What's next?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 17 - 23, 2014 - SF

Tuesday, February 18.  Its been another busy week and we are only 2 days into it.  Yesterday morning was bright and sunny, and Charlotte woke up saying "where are we going?", so I decided to take her to the zoo.  We headed straight for the children's zoo where she loves to pet the goats and see all of the other animals.  While in the barn, another little girl came up to her, they had eye contact, and immediately started to giggle.  From there on, they were best of friends and Charlotte didn't want Emma out of her sight.  They stood together at the duck pond quacking and giggling.  I ended up exchanging names and phone numbers with her Moms and will hopefully connect at a nearby playground some upcoming weekend.

Our next stop was at the playground where we would also find a spot for a bite of lunch.  Just as we arrived, we saw Joan, Henry, and Penelope (family friends), so we joined them for lunch.  Playtime in the playground didn't go so well, as I had a difficult time keeping track of her, so we didn't stay long.

This morning started with a trip to the grocery store, as Jill had an appointment this morning and I had a meetup scheduled with Marta.  When Marta arrived, we went to Angelina's for a sandwich and some welcome conversation.

I got a call from Pat this morning and learned that I had a plumbing leak under the sink at my house.  No problem.  A quick call to Larry resulted in a quick repair and not too big of a bill.  Talk about service!

Wednesday, February 19.  It is another beautiful morning and after Norah and Camille woke from their morning naps, we decided to take them for a walk to the park.  We put them in the Baby Bjorn carriers, put floppy brimmed hats on them and walked to the Garden Cafe to pick up sandwiches, then walked to the park.  We no more spread out a blanket and sat down and they started squalling and wouldn't stop.  Here we thought this would be such a fun adventure for them.  They were fine as long as we were moving.  Back home, they both went down for a nap - guess that little bit of fresh air wore them out.

Saturday, February 22.  It's hard to believe that I am into my 4th week here already.  The time sure is flying by.

I've been working on my taxes this week.  Actually, my friend Sharla offered to do it for me for free.  When she submitted to the IRS, it was rejected due to some problem in their system because Mike's Social Security number was locked after he passed away.  I read about it on the internet and learned that it is a common issue.  It seems the only way around it is to print and mail it in, so that is what I've done.  While I was signing the forms this morning, I became so emotional with the thought that I will never file as "married filing jointly" again, after 45 years if doing so.  These thoughts reinforce the finality of my life with Mike and increase the distance - an aspect I find hard to deal with at times.  

Yesterday was cleaning day and Camille was waking from her nap just as Jill left for work and the cleaning staff showed up shortly after that.  So I loaded Camille in the stroller, put a pacifier in her mouth, then hurried upstairs to get Norah (was still sleeping) ready and we headed out for a walk.  I was only a half block away when I had to shed my hoodie, it was such a nice day.  Norah went right back to sleep but it took Camille a while and they both slept while I walked through the Seacliff neighborhood.  I got back just as Betty was leaving.

I've gotten some good photos this week.

Charlotte's new swimming goggles.

Camille and Norah (still the smaller one, but they are looking more and more alike these days.

Sunday, February 23.  Our morning started with a big breakfast (the usual Sunday morning bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast) and then the day's activities begin.  Jill had to run to the east bay for an errand this morning, so I stayed back with the napping twins while Ben to Ruby for a walk with Charlotte that includes a stop at the playground.  

Camille rolled over from her belly to back on the play must this morning - a first for her.

I have some quiet time, so other than this update, I'm going to play mindless games on my iPad - my form of relaxation these days.  I have doing very little reading as every time I pick up a book, I start to fall asleep.  At night, I might get 2-3 pages read before I drift off.

I hear some bubble blowing and chatter going on in the bedroom - time to sign off.

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10 - 16, 2014, SF

Monday, February 10.  What a night!  First, I couldn't get to sleep - tossing, turning, reading, and more of the same.  These have been rough, emotional days as I reflect on the gloom-filled days leading up to the anniversary of Mike's passing a year ago.  It is a little easier to get by each day, but my heart still aches for him.  It's going to be a hard week to get through.

Yesterday afternoon when I let Ruby out to the back yard (the access is through Ben's bedroom window), she didn't come back and didn't come back.  I wasn't able to go look for her as I had no place to keep Charlotte safe while I did.  I ended up putting her in her crib with a book, went out the window and found Ruby at the bottom of the stairs that leads to the basement - she was very interested in something but I didn't take the time to go and look.  At 2:30 this morning, she woke me up being sick.  I was so afraid that something serious was wrong as she was trembling as if having a seizure.  I kept her close, comforted her, offered water that she refused to drink, and she came and slept right next to my bed.  Now I'm thinking that she had been eating something real gross and her stomach was very upset.  All is well, she is feeling much better this morning.

Today with Charlotte went well - only 2 time-outs - and we really had fun.  She asked to go to the Academy of Sciences again today, so we went, got a great parking spot, and hung out in the aquarium until the rainforest exhibit opened.  She doesn't see that very often, so it really held her interest.  She wore her shirt with a butterfly and we were hoping one might land on her.  That didn't happen but a large Blue Morph flew to within about 6 inches of her head.

When we got back home for lunch, she wanted to get in her warm, fleece, sparkly pjs, and that is what she wore the rest of the day.  She kept telling me that she loves me and wanted hugs while pretending to take a nap on my bed.  

Like I said, it was a great day.

Tuesday, February 11.  My day off.  Charlotte is in day care and the rest of the family gets back tonight.  After dropping her off, I headed for TJ's to stock up on groceries, then put together an Enchilada casserole for tomorrow nights dinner.  I also washed my bedding and did a load of CC's laundry.  It is now 1:00 and I am reclined on the couch, listening to Emmylou Harris, and hoping a nap comes my way.  Later.

No nap.  I picked Charlotte up from daycare, came home and parked the car and then we walked to Pacific Cafe for a dinner date.  She was really well behaved, just not very interested in eating anything but bread, ice cubes, and French fries and she liked the word "halibut" and repeated it many, many times.  The Halibut Parmesan was delicious, as usual, although it just didn't feel right to be there without Mike.  It's been a while since I've eaten here.  

Ben, Jill, and the twins made it home safely.

Wednesday, February 12.  I'm feeling the heavy, dark emotions of grief today, leading up to tomorrow's 1-year anniversary.  I don't think there is anything I can do to help myself to feel better, will just have to muddle through until things look brighter.

I really miss his upbeat personality, his one-liners and humor, fantastic stories, laughter, skinny legs, warm hugs, beautiful brown eyes, crooked smile, knowledge, and his reliable dedication and companionship.  What a year this has been.  There have been good times, but I miss sharing experiences with him - like the joy that the twins have brought, watching 
Charlotte grow up, and the good feeling of being all together as a family, even if we are not all together in the same place.

Thursday, February 13.  I survived the 1st anniversary of Mike's passing.  Jill took the 3 girls to a play date this morning so I could have some time alone and I spent it taking a long, leisurely shower and talking with Pat and other family and friends on the phone.  I also went through photos and tried to focus on the good times and the many, many miles we shared along the way.  What a guy - he sure changed my path in life and I thank him ever day for that.  Tonight, we shared a toast to him.

Sunday, February 16.  It is a beautiful, sunny morning for my youngest son's 37th birthday.  Wow - that is a long, long time ago.  We are treating him special this morning, letting him sleep in, go for a run, having a big breakfast, and making coconut cupcakes for his birthday treat.  He deserves it - such a good man and a dedicated husband and father and he also treats his parents right.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 3 - 9, 2014 - SF

Monday, February 3.  Charlotte was home today, so she and I went to Golden Gate Park, parked the car near Spreckels Lake and walked to the barns where the police horses are kept.  There were a few in the paddock, but not much activity.   As we walked back toward the lake, I saw a police woman taking a break outside the barn, so I asked her if there was another place where we could see the horses.  She said,  "come with me" and led us into the barn where we met, Rusty, Quin, and Bubba.  Charlotte was given a sticker and coloring book and then we got to see 4 policemen ride off on their horses to patrol the park.  I learned that they work 9 hour shifts and do any police job that comes up.  It was a lucky morning for us.  We also walked over to see the Bison and there were lots of ducks, seagulls, and pigeons around the lake.

Back home, Jill's morning hadn't gone quite that well.  Neither of the twins was interested in napping and they were fussy and needy instead.  They weren't too interested in napping in the afternoon either. It was a long day.

I also learned that a very good friend of ours passed away last night.  Paul had a brain hemorrhage 2 years ago and has been on life support since then.  His dear wife, Karen, has lived with the hope that he may get better and was by his side every day of this long journey.  He recently has been having seizures that they were unable to visibly detect, that have done additional damage to his brain.  He was a good man, fun to be with, and will be greatly missed.  Rest in Peace, dear Paul.

Thursday, February 6.  Jill and I packed up the kiddos and headed off to The Academy of Sciences.  We found a good parking space nearby, parked, and walked to Arizmendi Bakery (about a 4-block jaunt) before we could get in to the academy.  Now, there aren't many times that I actually get to walk in the rain, but people around here don't give it a second thought.  And Jill takes it all in stride, grabbing some bakery and a cup of coffee and heading on down the road.

Once we got to the academy, we headed right to the children's play area but Charlotte started crying hard and did NOT want to go in there.  We couldn't quite figure out what happened that freaked her out, kind of thought it was the lady who greeted us, although she seemed as nice as could be.  So, we headed to the aquarium where she was perfectly content.  Tina, Leo, and Enzo joined us for a while and Leo and Charlotte are great friends and had fun together.  After lunch, we headed back home and were unsuccessful in getting the kids to take their afternoon naps.  Just when we were both hoping for some R and R time to recover.  

Saturday, February 8.  We have had 3 rainy days in a row, much needed for this draught ridden state, although they are saying it won't be close to enough.  

Today was another busy day - Ben took Charlotte to swimming lessons, then to the salon for a "big girl" haircut.  Jill went to work and I stayed home with the twins.  It is getting easier for me as I'm getting a system down.  When Ben got home, I took Ruby for a walk and it was nice to get outdoors, in spite if the rain - actually the rain wasn't really a problem and felt pretty good.

Sunday, February 9.  Ben and Jill are heading to Minnesota for a few days, taking the twins with them and Charlotte is staying with me.  They left bright and early this morning, and will get back late on Tuesday.

Charlotte and I headed for The Academy of Sciences (Jill has a to see the Rainforest exhibit (one that we don't usually visit).  But it was so crowded by the time we got there, I couldn't find a parking spot and it was pouring down rain.  We went to the Legion of Honor instead.  Now, this is a formal art gallery and she might have been a little afraid of the angry looking men and violent paintings - we kind of scurried past them quickly.  I think the part she liked best was having a blueberry muffin in the cafe.  That activity was not a big thriller for her but she was very well behaved.  We stopped at Walgreens for construction paper for our afternoon activity (an attempt to make some valentines).

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 1-2, 2014 - SF

Saturday, February 1.  The day was nice, and it was good to hang out with Ben again.  He took Charlotte to swimming lessons this morning.  While he was gone, I was able to have a nice conversation with Pat - it's always good to chat with him, although it was cut short when Camille woke up and I had to get her before she woke Norah up.  It is definitely a juggling act at times.

When everyone was napping, I took Ruby for her walk - it was a nice afternoon, sunny and probably low 60s.

Sunday, February 2.  Family day, rainy day, indoors activities, grocery shopping, good meals, short walk late in the afternoon.