Weekend Wrap Up

Saturday Sam and I took the kids out to eat at a local pizza place. They have a patio, which allowed us to eat outside. The weather was perfect. It was sunny, but not too hot and there was a nice breeze. Of course, there was plenty of cottonwood flying about, which was only a problem if it landed on our food.

Eating outside also allowed for Ella, who isn’t really great about sitting still, to wander a bit. There was a family who came out the patio and sat a table or so away from us. I guess the kid hurt himself, and Ella really wanted to help him. She said, “Kiss and make it better?” We told her that the boy’s mommy would do that for him.

She was walking around like she owned the patio. In one photo I snapped, I swear she looks like she is walking a model runway. She looks like a movie star with her sunglasses and all.

Sunday and Monday both allowed for neighborhood walks, but there were also showers and storms.

Tuesday started with “weigh in” for me. I was thrilled to see a 3 pound loss this week, bringing my total to 9 pounds in two weeks. I hope to keep seeing weight loss.

After breakfast and a few errands, I took the kids for our neighborhood walk. It’s become a thing to count squirrels, birds, cats and “puppies.” Ella sings through the entire walk, saying hello to everyone we meet. Tuesday, there was a guy riding his bike who passed us about 4 times. She said hello every time. LOL

When we got home, she wanted to swing on the swings, until she heard loud yelling and noise from the back of the house. It was field day and the kids were out with bounce houses, outdoor games, and kickball.

Both kids absolutely loved watching the kids play. Ella said hi to all the kids sitting on the bench and they were very nice to her. I think Andrew got the biggest kick out of it though. His smile as he stood against the fence was priceless.

Sam said if it was warm enough to put them in their bathing suits and let them play with the water table and little pool. The two of them had a blast. As much as Ella gets to where she doesn’t want Andrew around her, outside she welcomes him as a playmate. They splashed together, she poured water on him, and they got muddy together.

The only time they were really unhappy today was when it was time to come inside and nap.

Looking forward to the rest of the week and Father’s Day weekend.

Another Weekend Recap

Some sort of bug hit our place last week. Poor Ella woke up with a very deep cough. Friday was the worst of it. She had the cough, a runny nose, and puffy eyes. Thankfully, she did not have a fever. After a visit to the doc, she said she had the croup. She was very snuggly over the weekend.

Sam and I weren’t really feeling great either. Sam got it worse than me. I’ve seen her sick before, but I could tell she was really feeling terrible. She had the cough and runny nose, again, no fever. I just had a cough. I’m glad that the baby didn’t seem to get any symptoms outside an occasional cough.

We laid low over the weekend. I was going to meet my son for lunch on Saturday, but when I started coughing, I thought it best to not expose him to anything. I guess I still freak out a bit about being sick, because it seems like every symptom is connected with Covid. Better safe than sorry.

Monday, I had a follow up appointment with my doctor for my blood pressure. It was up when I went in for my physical and she wanted to check me again before making any changes to meds. I took the baby with me and Ella stayed home since she still had her cough.

When they called me back, I walked with the diaper bag, the baby, and my coat. They walked me to the scale and got my weight and then walked me to the exam room. Once I was there I set the baby down, set the diaper bag down and when I turned around, the nurse wanted to take my blood pressure. I was literally out of breath and hadn’t even sat down yet.

160/95! Well, what did you think it was gonna be?! I told her to wait a few minutes and take it again! She put the pulse oximeter on my finger and my heart rate was 118. So she went through my med list with me (which took 3 minutes) and she took my blood pressure again. It was lower, but it was still high. My heart rate had come down to 98. I finally told her that I’d have the doctor check it when she came in. “Good idea,” she replied! LOL!!

When I had my surgery a couple weeks ago, they had the blood pressure cuff on me prior to and after surgery. It takes your vitals every 20 minutes or so. Every time it took my BP, I looked at the machine. The numbers were all within normal values. So I was pretty happy to see that. Now, here I am at the doc for a BP follow up and it’s skewed!

The doc came in and had the med student take it again and it was 130/85. I’m guessing it would have been lower if I hadn’t been freaking out at what the doc would say about those early readings!

The best part of the visit – I had some weight loss. The doc was pleased with that. She wants to see me again in 3 months and wants me down at least 10-15 pounds. I should be able to do that!

Highlight of the Past 24 Hours

Last night, when I was getting the kids ready for bed, I started our normal bed time routine. We usually read books and then I put Ella to bed. Andrew fell asleep right away in my arms, so I placed him in his bed and went back up on our bed with Ella to keep reading. Once we finished all the books, I told her it was time for bed.

Usually, she will grab her blanket and I take her to her bed, say prayers, kiss her goodnight and she is off to sleep. Last night, after I told her it was bed time, she looked at me and said, “Snuggle, daddy.” So I turned out the light and laid next to her. She snuggled right up to me. She looked up at me and said, “What’s the matter, daddy?” I’m not sure how she knew, but she did. I was just mentally and physically exhausted.

I told her, “Nothing, baby. I love you.” She grabbed my hand and squeezed it. I lost it. I had to hide my tears. That meant so much to me. She then said, “I stay here, daddy.” She snuggled closer and we hugged for awhile. When she was ready, she said it was “time for sleep” and I picked her up, hugged her extra tight, kissed her and went to bed.

That little girl has no idea just how special she is! I hope when she is old enough to read this, she will know that this is just one of the many times that she has melted her daddy’s heart. I am so lucky to be her daddy.

“Snuggle, daddy!”

Emotional Weekend Recap

It is taking all that is in me to write a blog today. I don’t feel like writing. I’m numb today.

All weekend long I struggled with whether or not to proceed with something. It is something that has weighed very heavy on my heart. It is something that comes with risks no matter what I decided to do. I have spent three entire therapy sessions (one I scheduled purposely) discussing it with my therapist. No matter how much I talked about it, no matter how I looked at it, no matter what the pros and cons were, I still don’t feel like I was ready to make a decision. Based on previous blogs, you can probably figure out what I am talking about.

It doesn’t really even matter what it is. I wrestled to make a decision and now I am wrestling with the decision I made. I am literally numb. I am feeling many emotions today – fear, anger, sadness, uncertainty, worry, and so many more. As I stared at the computer screen, I wondered just what the hell I wanted to write about. So I grabbed my phone and looked back at some of the pictures from the weekend and figured maybe I should at least talk about the positives.


First of all, I got to spend the entire weekend with my wife and daughter. It was an extended weekend for my wife and I, and as a bonus we both got Tuesday off. We actually had time to sit on the couch and watch shows we had on the DVR, which is something we rarely get to do. Ella had us laughing a lot this weekend. Recently, Sam’s folks bought her an easel. It has a chalkboard, whiteboard, place for paper, etc… We thought that this would be great for her to draw on. We haven’t let her paint yet, but she can color on it and uses the chalkboard a lot. Up until now, the sidewalk chalk had to stay outside. Now she has it on the easel, which isn’t always a good thing ….

This probably won’t stop her from drawing on the furniture … but it was worth a try!

On Sunday, I got together with two of my close friends from high school – Margaret and Chris. It was probably a couple months ago that a picture of the three of us came up in Facebook Memories. I think it said the picture was taken 10 years ago! While I’ve gotten together with them separately since, it had been that long since we all got together. So we met at Margaret’s house and she had a cook out. The town was hopping because the peach festival was going on. I got their late, because I thought we were supposed to get together on Monday. No matter, we all got to sit around and chat, reminisce, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. Before we wrapped up the day, I said we had to get another picture! I sent the picture to both of them, and each of us posted it on our pages. Margaret joked around and said to crop the picture more …. so I did….

Really a great picture of us ….

Sometimes, I have to do things just to take my mind off the crap that is on social media. I am so sick of the politics, hatred, and sadness that is often the subject of posts on Facebook. During conversation at Margaret’s, the topic turned to some silliness I have been posting. I did this last September, too. I know it is stupid, but it truly makes me laugh and I share to save my sanity.

One of the Three Stooges pages I follow on Facebook takes Shemp Howard’s picture and Photoshops them on other pictures. The can be movie stills, magazine covers, etc. They call the entire month of September – SHEMPtember! So every day this month, I find a silly pic from their page and post it. This remains one of my favorites, and I am sure my musical followers will get a good laugh from it, too….

The Shemptations!!!!!

30 days of stupidity? Yeah, probably. I’ll take the stupidity and enjoy the laugh over the other things I am feeling any day.

The rest of the weekend falls into the area that I’d rather not think about ….

I hope you had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend.

A Great Fall Weekend!

This weekend marked the 14th anniversary of my mother’s passing. It was very much on my mind through the entire weekend. However, there were so many other things going on that there was more happiness than sadness.

My brother came into town from Ohio and got to meet his niece for the first time. We have done many video chats prior to this, so when he came in, she recognized him and the hit it off immediately. It was such a wonderful moment. I’m sure we took a gazillion pictures, but my favorite one, he actually made his Facebook Profile Picture:

Uncle Chris and Ella

My brother and I drove down and picked up Dimitri and we all piled into the van and went to Crossroads Village. They usually do a Haunted Train Ride for Halloween, but because of Covid-19 they are not running the train. Instead, they are doing a nightly drive through of the village. It is all decked out for Halloween. My brother caught some pictures. It was a very nice time.

At the end of the drive, every passenger in the car got a goodie bag. I had to laugh because Dimitri opened a candy necklace, took a bite and said it was gross. I remember loving them growing up. I tried it and it was a bit … chalky!

We then came home and it was pumpkin carving time! We went to the orchard last weekend. We picked pumpkins and didn’t get the chance to carve them, so we did it this weekend.

Dimitri carved a skeleton playing a trumpet. For Ella’s, we took a drill and drilled holes in it. It looks like polka dots when the candle is in it. She loved touching the pumpkin guts, which surprised all of us.

Ready to carve
Yay! Polka Dot Pumpkin!
The finished product

On Sunday, we met my friend Jennifer at the park to take some family photos. Everything fell into place for the session – Dante was not working, Dimitri was here, Sam was off work that night, and Jennifer was available. We were worried that Ella wasn’t going to last long, as she was a bit tired. She loves being outside and we ended up getting some really amazing pictures!

The plan is to get one of the family pictures made into a canvas to go with the canvas we have of us with the baby. I also plan on printing some to frame and hang in the hallway. There are plenty to chose from. I wish I had a cubicle or an office at work so I could frame some of them to look at while I work. Here are two of my absolute favorites:

My Beautiful Girls – my wife, Sam, and my daughter Ella
My Three Wonderful Children – Dimitri, Ella, and Dante’

Both of these will be framed!! Perfect photos!!

After the photo shoot, the boys and my brother and I went to the cemetery to visit my mom’s grave. Dante’ has such fond memories of her. Dimitri never got to meet her and it bothers him a lot. They both got very emotional. It was nice to have some time there with them.

Monday, Sam worked days, so she was home by afternoon. We took a drive and grabbed pumpkin spice latte’s from Starbucks. When we got home, we raked up a big pile of leaves. We put the baby in her winter coat and let her sit outside and play in the pile. Look at this cutie:

The temps are cooling down. There is already snow up north. I’m glad to have been able to enjoy such a wonderful fall weekend with family.