Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Remembering Mom

Today marks the first week without Mom.  We got back into town on Monday night, but I just didn't feel like blogging for a while.  This has been pretty rough for me... especially blogging about Mom's passing.  I started this blog over 5 years ago specifically for her.  When we found out we were pregnant with Niko, she remarked that she was going to miss all the little things that happen in between grandkid visits.   I tried to blog every day so Mom would feel like she was part of our daily lives.

I didn't take any photos during the wake or funeral.  I did take this photo outside of the funeral home - they had this nice banner on the fence outside of the home.

This was the cover of Mom's memorial jacket.  Lots of old photos and memories here!

Mom and Dad's wedding photo

Mom with Morris the cat.

One of my favorite photos of Mom ever.  Jenny put those stickers on Mom's face.... hilarious.

Mmmmm...... crawfish.

I always thought it was awesome that Mom would go to the Comic-Con with us for one day.  I can't even remember what year this is, but she was wearing her con shirt.

This is another photo from our trip to Houston.

Mom and Dad on my wedding day.  This is easily one of my favorite photos of the folks.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Baby's Excellent Adventure to Iowa 80

We have been traveling back and forth from Kansas City to Chicago quite a bit lately and Iowa 80 is a frequent stop for us.   Although.... someone decided to stay at Iowa 80 this time.... Niko's 'Baby.'  I didn't even realize he took it in the truck stop with us until we got home and the tears started.

We called Iowa 80 at 10 p.m. to see if Baby was there and thankfully, it was.  Whew.  They offered to ship him back home - free of cost!  WOW!  What great customer service!  I was prepared to pay for the shipping or to even stop in again when we headed back north.

Baby arrived today!  Again, I was amazed how kind the Iowa 80 staff was about our missing lovely!

Niko wrote a Thank You letter to the nice staff at Iowa 80 - I will be mailing it off tomorrow!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rough Weekend

We had a pretty rough weekend.  Long story/short, my mom is not doing well.   I did not take any photos of Do-Da this trip because I chose to remember her like this.  These photos are from our Houston trip to MD Anderson, when we first learned she had lung cancer.

We got a call on Thursday morning that Do-Da had a heart attack and to get up to Chicago asap.  When we arrived, she was hooked up to a respirator and not doing well.  On Friday, they prepped us for the worst and removed her from the machines.  After a very scary few days, she somewhat recovered and is now in a hospice facility.   We don't know what the future holds for us, but she will be joining The Lord soon.

 We lived at Rush-Copley for the weekend.  This was the view from her room.  Very peaceful and tranquil. 

Do-Da eventually became strong enough to see her grandsons in the waiting room.  Here is Niko, Ryker and Ryan in the Family Waiting Room.   Niko was very upset after seeing Do-Da in the hospital room.  He visited her three times - the first time was on Saturday and he was pretty scared of the whole thing.  On Sunday, he asked to see her again and told me that he would be brave.  He told her he loved her and he gave her several high-fives.  He saw her again before we left to come back home to KC.  This time, she was in her 'hotel room' (we told him she was staying in a special hotel) and he again told her he loved her. 

 My sister's family stayed at a hotel with a small aquatics center.  The good thing is that the younger kids really don't have a good grasp on what is really going on.  They will look back on this trip as a great vacation with each other.

Here is Niko and Jenny playing volleyball in the pool.

 Here is a photo of Grandpa playing 'chess' with Niko-chan.  His version of chess was pretty non-linear.... and didn't really follow too many rules.   Mom's hospice facility is very nice and it better meets her needs right now.  The facility actually looks like a hotel with family living rooms, play rooms and a dining room.  It is really nice not to be in the chaotic ICU anymore, this place has a much bigger and more private room.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Niko is showing me the control panel on his airship.

Baby attack!

Niko is trying to shoo away his brother from the airship. 

Airship taking off!

Niko really likes the Studio Ghibli movie Laputa: Castle in the Sky.  I love Studio Ghibli movies too, but for some reason, he has really latched on to this movie.  Maybe it's because of the flying airships, giant robots or magic.... or all of the above.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Zoo Trip

Niko as a polar bear.
Ryker loves it when Niko roars at him.  Actually, this picture cracks me up....
Looking at the animals.
Riding the Tram.
Such a happy baby!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

"It's a TRAP!"

 The a fore mentioned trap.  You have to say this to yourself in your best Admiral Ackbar voice.... "It's a TRAP!"

Here is Niko setting up the trap.  He's hoping to catch his brother.... or Mark.  Either one, really.

Ryker... minding his own business.

 Niko gets too excited and springs the trap too early.  Doh!

Mark traps Niko is his own trap!!!!   HAHAHAHAHHAH!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Godparent Tuesday

Niko has been trying to trap someone in this cardboard box trap all weekend.  Seriously.  There was a classic cartoon marathon last weekend and he watched several Road Runner cartoons; trapping someone in the box trap instantly became priority #1.

So, Shelly was trapped.  Much to Niko's delight.

Shelly getting beaten up by the giant baby.

Niko LOVES rough-housing with Mark.... here he is riding Mark's lap.  You must wear a cowboy hat to ride this attraction.

Baby riot gear.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Water Park Fun!

We joined Monica's crew for water park fun!  Niko and I had a blast at the water park with Monica and her kiddos on a beautiful day.  We don't really have any photos of the fun inside the park since we locked up our valuables, but we had a great time.   The water was FREEZING, but that didn't stop the kids from having fun.

Niko's favorite parts were the playground and the lazy river - that is once he saw the other kids in the tubes.   At first, he had his doubts until he took a ride with Monica around the lazy river.