Thursday, December 22, 2016

Spelling Bee

I posted before about Cal's class having a spelling bee- the top three from each class in the first grade went on to the grade level spelling bee, which was held last week!

While Cal was cool as a cucumber, I was a nervous mess.  It was intense! All the kids (19) sit in the front of the AIG room and all of the parents/grandparents sit in rows facing them.  When it is their turn, they have to stand in front of the group and spell their given word.  The rules are crazy- they can't start over the spelling of a word, if they are using different letters....or something like that....

Cal made it through three rounds and my heart was racing each time he stood.  It was awful.  But so so exciting! I was beaming at Cal-- I would NEVER want to stand up in front of people and be asked to spell something! No, thank you!

The word that got him out was BACKDROP.  He misheard the announcer and spelled it "backdrok" (whatever that is....).  He said he wished he had asked her to repeat the word-- but I am okay with him getting out in third round! It was about all I could take!

 Cutest spellers around!

 (Cal really dressed up for the bee....that is a combo of mustard and toothpaste on that sweatshirt....)


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Charlotte Weekend

Last weekend, after a very very rotten horrible day, we headed to a Panthers game- well, technically, we were cheering on the Chargers (Eddie has a client who plays for them), but we were there cheering!

I wasn't sure I would be able to make this trip.  I was just too sad- literally, I was walking around the house openly sobbing.  Everything I saw made me think of Hank and I kept turning around expecting to see him.

Turns out, God knew what he was doing with his timing-- getting out of the house was probably just what we needed.  While I was still heartbroken and sad beyond words, I did my best to put on a happy face for the boys.  I faked it.  And they believed it.  I read a post another blogger wrote about faking happiness through a tough time and I was channeling her this weekend.

We left Saturday mid afternoon and Manning climbed in a plastic tub and left a note asking the boys to show him Charlotte-- since he was in the tub, they were able to carry him without actually touching him.  It was amazing to them. 

We checked into the room and the view was shown to Manning.  (side note here- I cried the majority of the car ride here-- walking in the hotel room where the kids let out a gasp and they were so excited, I could feel tension release out of my chest- it was the weirdest thing...almost like "hey, the kids are going to be okay, time for me to be okay too....." kind of thing....)
It was sooooooo COLD this weekend! Holy cow, we were freezing!!! We bundled up and headed out to explore. . We were not staying downtown, but over by some boardwalk area. 

There was an awesome playground right outside our hotel-- the kids played so hard on this and we watched them as long as we could stand the cold-- not very long. 

We went to dinner and then I went up to the room with the boys.

The next morning they were excited to go see Melvin (Eddie's client) and throw the ball with him in the hall of the hotel-- I am sure the other guests were excited too. 

Then it was time to bundle and layer and layer some more-- it was going to get COLD out there. 

We got to the game and parked and added more layers on....
and then a jacket on top!

We got to the stadium early and walked around a little bit.  They love to take it all in. 

Cal got a program and studied the lineups.  He was telling us the players names during the game.  His memory is crazy. 

Faking it! And looking awful-- but you know what?? I am here with my kiddos-- making memories!
We had great seats and settled in early to watch all the pregame action (of course we did).
Pretty sure Andy couldn't see much, but he didn't seem to mind. 
At half time-- trying to stay warm!
We went to meet Melvin after the game, but it started to rain, so we hiked it back to the car. 

Driving home, I started thinking about how Hank wouldn't be there to greet us so I cried most of the way home- I am typically NOT a crier so poor Eddie wasn't sure what to do with me. hahaha Coming home was hard, for sure.... thank goodness Bruce was here to wag his tail doubley hard.

Thankful for small trips like this one-- memory making!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dinner with Santa

A few weeks ago, we had dinner with Santa at the club! This night is always pure chaos and awesomeness.  We had so much fun with our friends and we left filled with excitement about the holidays.  All of the kids swore they saw Santa flying home- Andy called his buddy Lee to tell him that Grandpa saw Santa's sleigh parked on the golf course behind his house....Lee was pretty sure he saw Rudolf's red nose-- they were about to pop with excitement. 

 It was a boy-heavy group....

 Here he comes!!
 Both kids were excited to sit on his lap- no fear this year! Andy asked for roller blades, a skateboard and a surfboard.  Cal asked for a surfboard (I think something else too, but I can't remember off the top of my head! THIS is why I need to stay on top of the blog!!!).

 Andy and Charlie :)
 With some of the very best friends anyone could ever have!

and a side note: thank you thank you for all of the sweet messages about Hank.  He was a blessing to our family and we miss him like crazy.  We were lucky to have a dog like him.  Your comments and texts and emails have all meant the world.  MUCH love, c


Friday, December 16, 2016

Our sweet Saint Hank

Lawd, how I have been dreading this post. It is good therapy and in the grand scheme of things, I know I will want this all documented. 

The sweetest pup I have ever known went to Heaven on Friday, December 9th.  It has completely broken our hearts and rocked our worlds. 

The week after Thanksgiving, we came home from the beach and noticed Hank was limping a little bit. We assumed Brice had pounced on him too hard and he was sore- or maybe he romped in the sand a little bit too hard and hadn't recovered yet.  I texted my friends that Hank just didn't seem right to me and I was worried about him.  But his tail was wagging, he was eating, drinking, peeing and pooping, so I ignored my thoughts. 

Thursday the 8th, Hank was limping even more-- and although he was still tail-wagging and happy, he seemed to be more uncomfortable.  So I made an appointment to take him in to the vet on Friday morning- I was worried he had a sprain. 

Friday morning, I woke up and read something on facebook about a dog being put down and I started crying- like bawling crying and I could not stop.  I think my gut was telling me I knew.  The tears were constant all morning- I went to popup and had tears in my eyes the whole time.  I left early to take Hank to the vet.

We got to the vet at 9:30 and there were kittens for sale in the lobby-- his little tail was wagging like crazy to go over and see them. He doesn't love the vet and tries to get in my lap when we are there, so I let him crawl in my lap while we waited (all 85 pounds of him). 

The vet tech came in and asked all the standard questions- and I burst into tears immediately.  And I couldn't stop.  Poor girl didn't know what to think.  Pretty sure she thought he was totally fine and that I was just a mess of a mom. 

The vet came in and looked at him and he got in my lap.  She touched his shoulder area and felt him wince.  She then said that she suspected it was a bone tumor.  She said unfortunately those are extremely aggressive.  They would need to x-ray him to be sure.  I started opening sobbing then.  Off my sweet boy went to be x-ray'd.

I had a group text going with the best friends around.  Once I told them it was a bone tumor, my friend Pippa texted that she was on her way-- thank God she did. 

The vet came back in and said exactly what I didn't want to hear: it was in fact a bone tumor and that it had most likely spread to his chest as well.  Pippa asked if he could make it through Christmas- the vet said it would be much more appropriate for him to go today. 

Let me just take a minute here and cry.  Sweet Lord, did I cry so hard.  I am still crying. 

I called Eddie but he was in an appointment and didn't answer.  There was no way I was going to make the call without the fam.  So, they sent me and Hank home with some meds to make it through the weekend, if we chose to prolong the inevitable. 

Here's the thing- and this is what kills me and makes me cry every single time: he was still wagging his tail.  I pointed that out to the vet- I argued that he wasn't acting like he was in any pain.... she said he loves me way to much to show me that he's hurting.... he wants me to be happy. 


So I asked Pippa to go to McDonalds to get Hank a cheeseburger and fries.  Eddie finally answered his phone and ran home to meet me there.  I carried Hank in and put him on the leather couch with the sun shining in on him- his favorite spot.  And I fed him his cheeseburger and fries and I sobbed and thanked him over and over again for being the best dog in the world. 

We had a trip planned to Charlotte for the weekend and knew we couldn't leave Hank home if he was in pain at all-- and we didn't want to prolong this if he was in a great deal of pain.  We owed Hank so much more than that. 

We made an appointment at 2:00 and we took the boys out of school early so they could come say their goodbyes to Hank.  They were so sad- we all cried... we sat around in a circle around him and said how much we love him and how much we will miss him.  They asked a lot of whys and had a bunch of questions.  It is really hard to parent when all you want to do is curl up and cry.  We all promised to pour even more love into Bruce so that he would turn into a great dog like Hankers. 

And then we carried Hank to the front of my  car-- he rode shot gun (his favorite spot) and I sat in the back-- he put his head on the seat back and stared at me-- I kept leaning forward and kissing him. 

The vet was all ready for us and we carried him (he was fully capable of walking- but carrying him made him feel even closer to us) and back to the room designated for this.  I sat on the floor and he stood in between me and Eddie.  They filled us in on everything that could happen during this procedure (one last gasp of air, peeing, etc) and then it was time. 
They gave him a little jar of baby food which he loved, and then he laid down with his head on my lap.  They started he meds and he nuzzled his nose into my stomach while looking up at me.  We never broke eye contact the whole time.  None of the things she said could happen, did-- he sighed a little and then he was gone.   The whole time, I was stroking his head and thanking him over and over again for loving me and the boys so hard.  I told him I wanted him to go catch every bird and squirrel in heaven and that I loved him more than he ever could imagine. 

The heartbreak felt from this is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  And I realize, I feel this pain because we were lucky enough to love him.  And omg did we ever love him. 

It was a terrible, sad, awful thing.  However- I am thankful that we never saw him in pain- I am not sure I could have handled that.  And I thank my lucky stars that we had a dog who loved us so much. 

Sorry for the heaviness of his post-- Hank deserved a post.  I will write more about him later.  Gotta wipe some tears away now...

edited to add.... I think subconsciuosly, I had a feeling something wasn't right.  On Wednesday before, I took a ton of pics of him in front of the Christmas tree- just in case it was his last one... weird.  

Sitting on the brown couch with the sun shining in-- eating a french fry....

Just me and Hank when Eddie went to get the boys... we snuggled up on the floor and had a real heart to heart.  He needed to hear (again) how he is the sweetest boy I know.   I must have kissed that face 900 times. 

I took him for one more little walk to potty and let him be off leash-- his tail was wagging and he was enjoying the wind.  

My sweet friend Sally brought him a Frosty Paw and he loved it so much! He gobbled it up.
And then it was time to go. 

Rest In Peace, Sweet Hank-
March 3, 2004-December 9, 2016


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thanksgiving at the beach

We had a wonderful time at the beach for Thanksgiving! We were at the beach with my parents, Eddie's parents, Carrie Beth, my uncle Pat and his girlfriend too!

We headed down Tuesday after school and soaked up every minute of every day-- it was lovely!

The sunset driving down there was incredible-- it looked like orange sherbet! 

My sweet Uncle Pat came and I had the best time with him-- he's crazy funny.  Pretty sure I laughed to the point of tears many many times!
 He challenged the boys to arm wrestling competitions.... cracked them up too!
 Bruce was into making spirits bright....
 This was the sunset one night-- no filter.... can you believe it?? So gorgeous.

 We did a lot of lazyness, but we also did a lot of playing hard.  Andy came up one morning and decided to relax on the stone fireplace hearth with his iPad-- since there aren't a plethora of couches all around...??
 Thanksgiving morning, we had a big game of baseball-- planned by the boys, of course! Cal and Andy were team captains and they selected their teams... mom provided a drink cart! ha!
 Here's the crew, ready to play ball!

CB and I crushed a puzzle....twice.  I was obsessed with this puzzle!

Eddie and the boys went fishing and it was a little chilly out on the water- Andy was prepared!
 And they caught a bunch of fish!!

We took in more sunsets and drank more wine-- I probably should cut myself off from wine for a month or two.  #whoamikidding?

 Then on the way home, the boys (and Rudolf) watched a movie that clearly this one found comical!
 It was a great Thanksgiving, for sure! Love spending time with family.  We ate great food and drank (did I mention we drank?!) and just had loads of fun! Love it down there!