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Heather's Parenting Journal

Entry 19 ~ February 29, 2008
~ It Has Truly Been a Tough Year

ChristmasDidn't I start out this journal two months ago saying it has been a tough year? Well, I have to state that once again. I first want to apologize to StorkNet and my readers for not getting you any updated information about my life and my family. With that said, you won't believe the roller coaster that has once again happened.

I won't hold you in suspense. My father-in-law died of a heart attack last week. I know. I know. My mother-in-law died a year ago this upcoming March 3rd. And her mother died in August last year. I am hoping the old adage that bad news comes in threes is true right now. I can't take one more conversation from my husband that starts with "honey, I have some bad news . . ." followed with him sitting down next to me with tears in his eyes. I am still completely numb and just going along with the routine of life and the flow of it all. My father-in-law was a great man. He was a man's man. He was the type of man that if everyone was like him, there would be no court system. No need for contracts. No need for jail. His word was his bond. He even had a rental property rented on just a hand shake. He had a fantastic laugh. The laugh will be sorely missed. He'd laugh so hard, you'd laugh listening to him. He was a fabulous man, with old fashioned morals and values and I loved him dearly. I am so heart broken that at 35, I have no in-laws . . . and I truly loved mine a lot. I am sadder for my husband and my children.

Maria at ChristmasAs we progress backwards from this journal to the last, January brought on surgery for me. It was elective, but pretty necessary. I had my tonsils removed, my deviated septum in my nose repaired, and my uvula shortened. Now that I am 5 weeks out - I am happy. If you even asked me two weeks ago if it was worth it, I would say no. I've delivered five children, two of which the epidural wore off. And I've never had pain like this. I think the nurse got tired of my daily phone calls to see if this much pain was 'normal.' It completely caught me off guard with the unexpected amount of pain. At my one week appointment the doctor came in and asked "how are you surviving"? He said he stated it that way because he knew it would be difficult. But, now that I am away from it a little, I can see why it was all done at once. It just really hurt at the time. My only side effect is my lack of taste. Anything dry like bread, crackers, and cake have an odd bitter taste. It is not that familiar comfort taste. Seeing as how I emotionally eat, it is not a bad thing right now. I've lost 22 pounds since the surgery which has jump started me to continue. The first 15 was due to not being able to eat at all because even Jell-O hurt. The next was due to my taste being off and it reminding me to not eat junk. Now, I have to continue. I've rejoined the gym and have decided to eat better and less. Not any type of a diet of sorts, just more fruit and veggies. I don't eat out more then once a week, and I let my taste buds tell me not to eat things like cake, French fries, and such. Eventually, my taste will return, but for now I am using it to my advantage.

Progressing even further back, we had a wonderful Christmas. It was our first Christmas without, Joyce, Brian's mother so it was different. But none the less it was still very nice. The kids were so excited and Alex still believes in Santa for one more year. "He" sent him a letter this year which really got him 'hook, line, and sinker.' I do however remember telling my parents for years that I believed. So, maybe he is onto something, but stays he believes for me. I know he'd do that. We had so many plans for this upcoming year for him.

Swing with daddyThen through it all we've been busy shuffling around with basketball for Alex and school activities for the girls. Kate has grown into a little baby and is called "Baby Eight" by Isabella - although she is really baby 5. I did not try to explain that to a 2 year old. Oh yeah! We've had two birthdays all ready this year. Sydney turned 4 and Isabella (a StorkNet baby) turned 2 and both in style their own ways. This is a 'birthday party' year which means that they get to have parties with friends. Every other year it is family only. But, that truly starts in pre-school, so only Sydney had the bigger party. We held it at an indoor play-place that sold Rainbow outdoor equipment. It must have had 20 different play sets set up, with basketballs hoops and all. The kids played until they were exhausted, ate cake, and then went home. Her friends still talk about the party. And I held it during the week so I saved so much money. Isabella had a home party with my cousin and her 2 daughters. That is a party of 7 kids alone, which is truly no small party. She was happy none the less.

Another sad note, my dear Labrador, Sally, had to be put to sleep a week before John (my father-in-law) died. We probably waited longer then we should, but she could no longer walk very far. Once up she would fall on the tile floor. Then she could not get back up. Brian had to carry her to her bed in the dining room. We had to keep the gate closed so she would not attempt the stairs because we caught her several times falling down them. The process was not as bad as I thought, but I cried so much at the time. I stayed for the entire thing so she could sniff and smell me while she passed. I did not want her to be afraid. The vet and the tech spent over 45 minutes straight with all of us during the process. They were absolutely wonderful

Isabella's birthdayBut, now we have another dog. I did not buy one, my father-in-law left two dogs behind after he passed. One of his dogs, a Golden Retriever mix and my dog Lego (100 pound Golden) could just not fix their issues with each other. There was something between the two boys that would make them growl and get mad. With five kids, I can't have that. I know it is something that can be overcome, but I can't take that risk. So, he was adopted to a wonderful home through a Golden Retriever rescue foundation locally. The kids and I brought "Luke" to his new home last night and I am certain he will be so happy. The new owner and I have talked via email several times all ready on his adjustment progress today. That leaves us with a Rat Terrier named, "Lucy." She is cute and the kids love having a little dog. Lego and Lucy were starting to play today and it was really funny. Lego has never had a little dog around so his big awkward body was funny to watch as he was trying to gently play with her. Lucy was my father-in-law's baby and I am glad she is staying here. It helps us all heal a little.

I hope you have all had a wonderful new year. Brian and I toasted the New Year in hoping for a much better year then last. My father-in-law's death was completely unexpected and now being the executor, my husband will be busy settling the estate and such. I wish it would be different, but it is not. I have to just keep my chin up and keep moving forward. I have strength about me that must come from higher up because it has truly been a difficult time.

Talk soon!

~ Heather

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