Sunday, June 28, 2009

Surviving the Heat Wave

This pool:

has been a life saver.

Now, I'm not going to whine about the weather. Or complain.

Nope. I'll just say this: it's freaking hot. For Kansas, it's freaking hot. We had a full week of temperatures in the upper 90s and heat indexes in the mid 110s. That's hot. With 70-80 percent humidity, that's hot.

So have a baby pool where I can sit back and relax in the shade was nice.

Zoey wasn't just thrilled about it. She was better outside of the pool....for now.

Jack had no trouble diving right in!

Of course, we did spend some time inside!

...and then went back outside.

Oh what a life!

Look! She got in!

Nothing new for Jack, who enjoyed relaxing in the sun.

It was a nice sized pool!

Funny moment: Jack came downstairs to show us his pajames he put on. Yup. That's a t-shirt on top, t-shirt on bottom (worn as shorts) and black socks.


Somewhere in the heat wave we ended up buying some goggles.

It opened up a whole new world for the boy!

A lot more splashing, that's for sure!

Here's our bathing beauty.

And our fishy boy!

Sometimes when Jack's splashing got to be too much, Zoey would just sit down and swing with me.

I think I can handle this life, although the heat can be dialed back a bit.

Series: Sibling Love

Sometimes you need a lot of description to understand what's going on.

This isn't one of those times.

Two siblings.
One overzealous mother.
The outcome of laughter, ear poking and fun.

Forgotten Photos

You all know what it's like.

You get busy. Life happens. All of a sudden all of the photos that were taken on so many random days to capture so much of the randomness in life become second to...
...sleep. nights.

Sorry. It's the truth.

So, here in a flash...the forgotten pictures of June.

We had pillow fights in the living room!

Went to the dentist (clean bill of health).

Made new friends.

Took plenty of walks.

Wore Mommy's shoes!


Enjoyed Jack's favorite rock on walks.

Started the clingy phase.

Paused to enjoy the little things in life.

In short: June went by so fast yet we accomplished (and survived!) so much more!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Calendars + Planning

Tentatively pencil in the following dates on your calendar:

July 18: Worlds of Fun day (I think that was the date? I may be wrong)
August 8: End of Summer Pool Party
September 5: Zoey's 2nd Birthday
September 14-18: Kid's Closet Consignment Sale (a complete guess)
September 26: Jack's 4th Birthday
October 10: Pumpkin Patch and Chili day?
November 28: 2nd Annual Cookie Party

That's right. I'm planning into November. Because...I can. And it's fun to plan these things. It makes the time fly by. And when it's that hot and humid, I'll take any diversion I can find!

A big change for the year: No Hillsboro Arts & Crafts sale this year! Last year was such a bust that we're going to skip it this year and let it rebuild itself. I'll miss it, but I wasn't impressed with it last year. Too many people, too few vendors, too expensive (in general) and too cheap of products. You used to be able to go there and get quality stuff that no one else in the world had. Not so much any more.

One word: LAME

In current news: pictures are coming. We've been staying busy keeping cool in the pool and just having fun together. Sorry. I'm sure you'll survive somehow.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A little bit sad, a little bit happy and a whole lotta sweet!

This is Colby. Remember her name. Remember her face. Oh, and keep a box of tissues handy for this one.

You can also ready the following story here:

But now, on with the story - oh, and I wasn't kidding about that box of tissues.

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Colby Curtin, a 10-year-old with a rare form of cancer, was staying alive for one thing – a movie.

From the minute Colby saw the previews to the Disney-Pixar movie Up, she was desperate to see it. Colby had been diagnosed with vascular cancer about three years ago, said her mother, Lisa Curtin, and at the beginning of this month it became apparent that she would die soon and was too ill to be moved to a theater to see the film.

After a family friend made frantic calls to Pixar to help grant Colby her dying wish, Pixar came to the rescue.

The company flew an employee with a DVD of Up, which is only in theaters, to the Curtins’ Huntington Beach home on June 10 for a private viewing of the movie.

The animated movie begins with scenes showing the evolution of a relationship between a husband and wife. After losing his wife in old age, the now grumpy man deals with his loss by attaching thousands of balloons to his house, flying into the sky, and going on an adventure with a little boy.

Colby died about seven hours after seeing the film.

With her daughter’s vigil planned for Friday, Lisa Curtin reflected about how grateful she is that Pixar – and "Up" – were a part of her only child’s last day.

“When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie,” said Curtin, 46. “I just know that word ‘Up’ and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven.”

Pixar officials declined to comment on the story or name the employees involved.


Colby was diagnosed with vascular cancer on Dec. 23, 2005 after doctors found a tumor in her liver. At the time of her death, her stomach was about 94 inches around, swollen with fluids the cancer wouldn’t let her body properly digest. The rest of her body probably weighed about 45 pounds, family friend Carole Lynch said.

Colby had gone to Newport Elementary School and was known for making others laugh, family friend Terrell Orum said. Colby loved to dance, sing, swim and seemed to have a more mature understanding of the world than other children her age, Orum said.

On April 28, Colby went to see the Dream Works 3-D movie "Monsters Vs. Aliens" but was impressed by the previews to "Up."

“It was from then on, she said, ‘I have to see that movie. It is so cool,’” Lynch said.

Colby was a movie fan, Lisa Curtin said, and she latched onto Pixar’s movies because she loved animals.

Two days later Colby’s health began to worsen. On June 4 her mother asked a hospice company to bring a wheelchair for Colby so she could visit a theater to see "Up." However, the weekend went by and the wheelchair was not delivered, Lisa Curtin said.

By June 9, Colby could no longer be transported to a theater and her family feared she would die without having seen the movie.

At that point, Orum, who desperately wanted Colby to get her last wish, began to cold-call Pixar and Disney to see if someone could help.

Pixar has an automated telephone answering system, Orum said, and unless she had a name of a specific person she wanted to speak to, she could not get through. Orum guessed a name and the computer system transferred her to someone who could help, she said.

Pixar officials listened to Colby’s story and agreed to send someone to Colby’s house the next day with a DVD of "Up," Orum recalled.

She immediately called Lisa Curtin, who told Colby.

“Do you think you can hang on?” Colby’s mother said.

“I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie,” the girl replied.


At about 12:30 p.m. the Pixar employee came to the Curtins’ home with the DVD.

He had a bag of stuffed animals of characters in the movie and a movie poster. He shared some quirky background details of the movie and the group settled in to watch Up.

Colby couldn't see the screen because the pain kept her eyes closed so her mother gave her a play-by-play of the film.

At the end of the film, the mother asked if her daughter enjoyed the movie and Colby nodded yes, Lisa Curtin said.

The employee left after the movie, taking the DVD with him, Lynch said.

“He couldn’t have been nicer,” said Lynch who watched the movie with the family. “His eyes were just welled up.”

After the movie, Colby’s dad, Michael Curtin, who is divorced from Lisa Curtin, came to visit.

Colby died with her mom and dad nearby at 9:20 p.m.

Among the Up memorabilia the employee gave Colby was an “adventure book” – a scrap book the main character’s wife used to chronicle her journeys.

“I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her,” Lisa Curtin said.

(The article was by Annie Burris for the OC Register under the headline: Pixar grants girl's dying wish to see 'Up')

I don't know about you, but in a world where greed is so prominent, it's nice to see that the "big guys" really do have a heart.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Now and Then

Jackson...June 2008

Jackson...June 2009

Zoey...June 2008

Zoey...June 2009

My how they grow! And my how I miss them! They are with my parents right now and having a fine time. However, I am now to the point where I no longer want to spend so much time in silence!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Mess, Part 1

I'll spare you photos of the mess, so just use your imagination.

So...Saturday, I discovered that there was standing water in our sub basement. I completeyl ignored the fact that there were things floating in it. Instead, we assumed that the drain was clogged and our AC had overflowed it.

Turned the AC off.
Went to the Royals game - we had $44/seat tickets...why not?

The next morning, Trav woke up early to work on it. After an hour, he came upstairs to inform me that the water was not just AC water. It was sewage.

Calls to the city and plumbers insued.

The city brought this big hunk of a truck:

Found out that the sewers were clear. Whatever was done there was happening between our house and the sewage line.

Hmmm. Great. At least it's OUR sewage? I guess?

So, while Trav was trying to get a plumber who had the best prices, I took the kids out. Had fun, really, despite the circumstances. We came home with sandwiches and set up a picnic in the front yard.

The kids loved it:

Isn't the hat cute? It's really Jack's - purchased at the Lincoln Zoo. They really didn't have boy hats, so Jack ended up with this one. Not that he's worn it...

We really had fun waiting for the plumber. The weather was beautiful!

The cookies were good too, of course!


Here's my little gardner...

And playing with rocks on the bench...

Jack was having fun too!

Well, it wasn't sewage. It was starchy buildup instead! That's right -- years and years of potato skins, egg shells and pastas had lodged and finally erupted in our sub-basement.
Generally, it's better outcome than sewage. Cheaper too.

However, four-year old chunks of potato really don't smell that great. Trust me on this.

We ended up meeting my family - all of them! Kaki, Gary, Sammy and Naaate (you have to put the 3 a's!)

We played before dinner...

And Zoey, of course, devoured more chocolate cake than we would have preferred.

However, she pretty much grabbed it.

At least she cleaned up after herself?

Jack thought that she was crazy too!

So I hear the theme song from "Gilligan's Island?'

Knowing that we had a week of cleaning ahead of us, my parents have graciously taken the kids for the week. It's been quiet for us - probably crazy for them!