Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rest in Peace, Soph-Dog

Well, as many of you know, we said a very unexpected goodbye to our dog Sophie this week.
It has been the weirdest, loneliest few days at our house without her. We cared a lot about her, but didn't realize just how much she was a part of our family or how special she was to us until this week...
About 2 months ago Sophie had a LOT of teeth pulled because they were infected, but it sounded like that's all it was and she was back to normal after they were pulled out. Not long after that we noticed her limping a bit and thought it was odd, but then it went away.
Well, just last Friday she started doing it again, but it got really bad within just a day and by Saturday afternoon she wasn't putting any weight on her leg and was really panting. Daren took her to the vet on Monday. At first the vet thought it was possibly Lyme's disease or an infection, but after some blood work that didn't really seem to be the case. They took an Xray and it was bad news from there:/
There was a large tumor in her leg and when you looked the comparison Xray from her other leg, it was glaringly obvious that it was not good. She had bone cancer.
He gave us some options.... They could amputate the leg, but that would only give her about 4 more months of life. If they amputated it AND did chemo therapy once a week, that would potential give her 10-12 months. Obviously, neither option would really help enhance the quality of her life and just seemed like things for 'us' rather than for Sophie, so we had to make the dreaded decision to put her to sleep. Daren called me at school with the horrible news and I rushed with the girls to the vet clinic so we could say goodbye one last time.

We will always remember her and have a special place in our hearts for her, as our first family member, long before the girls came along:)
If they wrote doggie obituaries it would sound something like this:
Soph-dog lived a good life for nearly 10 years. She came into this world as a puppy in Florida and spent her first 4 1/2 adventurous years as the racing dog "Sheila Bea". When her career was over she was rescued by the Northern Lights Greyhound Association in Minnesota and from there we adopted her and she spent the rest of her days at home with us:) Most of them calm and mild, she loved to have a good run with me once in a while, chew the heck out of any new toy continuously until she completely wore out the squeaker, and once in a while get herself into mischief as any good dog does on occasion! (Like eat a full pan of 12 ice cream cone cupcakes, a stick of butter, or whatever else we foolishly left sitting out:) Her favorite people snack was popcorn!
We adopted her almost 5 years ago, so she really has been with us for practically our whole married lives and definitely has been a part of the girls lives. Danika kind of understands, but I'm pretty sure she thinks that she will be coming home again at some point. Every time she talks about her I start to cry! It doesn't seem like it has really phased her, but only time will tell. This morning we were talking about it and how Sophie is in doggie heaven and isn't in pain anymore and she said "But when her leg gets better she can come home from that place right?" (thinking 'heaven' was the vet's office where we went to visit her) Totally broke my heart. I hope that gets better, not worse:/
Not much else to post and share this week...the girls are fun as ever, Daren is frustrated by the rain this week and has been unable to plant as much as he hoped, and I'm starting to get insanely busy at school with just 13 more school days to go. Other than that, our week was spent reflecting and remembering the happy times with Sophie and and even wishing back some of the not so favorite things about having a dog. Walking her was sometimes a burden, but this week,we took a few family walks, just because! I hope we can continue to make time for that...
With Love,
The Dummers
Daren, Jamie, Danika & Haddie

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Funday!

Another week in the books...Hard to believe Memorial Day weekend is only a week away and that it's mid May! We had lots of just mom-and-girls time this week while Dad was busy planting, so we made the most of it!
Hadster, the food monster... 
 her 2 favorite things... eating and chillin' outside:) 
My helper, Danika...watering the flowers
(I'm not sure any water actually made it in the scooper all the way from the sensory table to the flower pot:) 
Getting a little crazy!!!
Haddie and her freakishly long tongue...

I think this was surprised face for D....or maybe excited:) 
A few weeks ago after a challenging ultrasound appointment for little D, I had to do a little bribing with a new game if she was a good girl. She cried and was afraid for much of it (understandably when a complete stranger is pushing a foreign object on your belly for 20 minutes) But, she laid still and didn't jump off the table or anything, so to Target we went.
I was prepared for a splurge on a game she probably wouldn't play much...whatever looked fun at that moment is what she would surely pick.
Well, to my surprise she ended up picking a princess memory matching game that she had noticed in my classroom months before. We never even got to play it in my classroom, but she certainly remembered it. So $5 later we had the princess game.
I'm happy (I think) to report that we play this game at least twice a night...on weekends, probably much more than that. She even enjoys playing it by herself and she has a much better memory than Daren or I!
The girls enjoyed 2 days at the farm with grandma and grandpa this week while Amy took some time off...They sure do enjoy their time together (Kids and grown ups:)
We had a bit more time there on Saturday when Daren was milking so they played and played and played outside...

Big cous' Chloe was there too so they got to play together

...and to end the weekend on a happy note, Daren got home a bit before bedtime tonight so we had a little time to relax and play outside with him too:)

Funny story to share... (Well, if you ask Danika it's not funny)
This morning we had a brief thunderstorm and Danika was playing in her bedroom. When I heard a very loud bang I went in to check on her and noticed she was hiding under her bed. When I asked her if she was OK she said in a crying voice "Mom, something growled at me! I think it was a lion!" (referring to the thunder) :)
Although I felt sad she was so upset by it, I also laughed hysterically at how serious she was that she was certain she heard a lion!

One last thing... Thought I'd share a cute video of Danika putting on a show in the yard that I had mentioned in last week's post. She is kind of far away and difficult to hear, but if you really tune in you can get the gist of her 'performance'. The grand finale is a big 'NO' when she notices I'm videoing her:)
The Dummers

Monday, May 13, 2013

Momma, Momma Loves Her Llamas!

Danika's current favorite books are the Llama, Llama series of books, so I had to reference that in my title:)
My little Llama's (being my children) continue to grow and change and give me 10 reasons everyday to be more stressed out...and about 100 daily reasons to love them to pieces!
Where did baby Haddie go? So after the 1 year mark children are referred to as 'toddlers',  but this kid has truly turned into a full blown toddler in the last week or two. Her latest and greatest new thing is climbing...on EVERY. SINGLE. THING. If it has height, she thinks she can climb it. Chairs, stools, steps, you name it. The trouble is she doesn't quite get the getting down part yet, so we've taken a few tumbles. There is a video of the picture below. Haddie pushed the basket towards the window and then kept climbing up to look out the window.
Her 2nd 'big' girl thing is that she is rockin' the spoon and fork at mealtime! She would much prefer her fingers still, but if I point to it on her tray or scoop the food onto it, she is great at picking it up and getting the food in her mouth without tipping it upside down 1st!
Saturday I took the girls to the Doll & Pet Parade downtown EC- We braved the crazy cold and wind and someone was not too excited about it at first... 
...but lots of cute dogs and handfuls of candy later she was a parade lover:) 
Danika is also growing and changing before my eyes. When I look at her deeply when we are having a conversation I still can't believe that she's ours and wonder where the last 3 years went! She seems so much more grown up to me lately and she has become so intellectual in her thinking and asks so many questions. Even though we still go head to head once in a while, I can tell she is maturing and is (a little) more rationale and reasonable when she does get upset or have a fit. She has been talking about school a lot and refers to herself as a preschooler:) She keeps asking when she can ride a school bus! She would tell you that she is "An artist, a nut, a preschooler, and a big sister" :) Love it
Both girls absolutely LOVE being outdoors and could entertain themselves for hours. When Haddie is grumpy the only 2 things that calm her down are eating (of course!) and being outside:)
She LOVES the water table... 
Danika, our little rock star, loves to go to the top the hill in our backyard and many times she just talks to herself or whatever imaginary something she has with her (I know my family is thinking 'little Jamie' on that one...yes it's true, I had 3 imaginary friends when I was little. Friend, Jenny, and Cousin:) Super original names, I know!)
Any who, on this particular day she decided to grab her mic and put on a show! 
I was a little late by the time I busted out the camera, the show was over and it was potty time:/ 
Aside from the cold, windy, candy filled parade on Saturday, we spent time painting flower pots for the Grandmas. Danika (The artist) was really into this activity. Usually 10-20 minutes is the max for any given activity, but we spent a good hour or so straight on our pots.
Planting time (NOT picture time apparently, as Danika turns away the minute she she's dad with the camera!)
I woke up early on Mother's Day and Daren gifted me with watching the girls so I could go for a run...SO enjoyable to get an outside, early morning run- it was like my therapy and a great way to start the day. Then it was a bit of a hectic morning getting packed for Sunday school and our afternoon picnic, so we had the breakfast of champions, McDonald's on the way to church:)
I know that no one reading this will be surprised, but Haddie ate an ENTIRE sausage biscuit and half a hash that point I cut her off, but I truly don't know that girl's limit!
My family used to always get together at a park in Redwing on Mother's Day when I was young and then we had quite a few years where we didn't do anything at all...Last year we started the tradition again and it was just as great this year. Although it was a bit cold and windy, having so many kids they had a BLAST playing together. It makes me sad we don't get to see them more often:/
Danika and my youngest nephew, Collin were the best of buds:)  

Remember that comment before about Haddie being a climber?!? She could have done this all day long 


My favorite moment of the day:)
All 7 cousins together... 16, 11, 10, 8, 6, 3, 14 months
I used to have so much more time for my nephews and now that I have my own children that's not the case..they are growing up so fast!
Slow down boys~You especially Dylan!! Where did my little man go?
Oldest and youngest.... Dylan and Haddie
Hopefully everyone reading this had a fabulous day celebrating their mothers, or got celebrated as one! I know I felt very loved and blessed on Mother's Day, and really if I would just take the time to slow down and reflect, each and every day truly is a blessing...and again, this momma has the BEST little Llama's! And the day wouldn't have been complete, or even possible with out two of the greatest momma's, my grandma and my mom. I have them to thank for helping me become the woman and mom I am today, and I love them more than words can express!
When you are growing up you don't always understand just how hard they work or what a 'job' it is being a mom...for me I truly didn't grasp the sacrafices my mom made for us kids, and it's only now that I'm a parent that I realize just how amazing she is! Not sure I tell her that enough...
Love you Mehmer:) and Grams too!

...and the blog wouldn't be complete without a shout-out to my mother in law as well. Her warmth and love shines through in all that she does for Daren & I and especially when she is with her grandchildren. Daren is the wonderfully, kind hearted, giving person he is today as a grown-man because of his momma! I treasure those qualities in him and have you to thank:)

Love to ALL the momma's out there (and everyone else too, but especially them today:)
The Dummers (well, mostly just JZ on this one!)
A quick clip of the climbing Hadster...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Out of Hibernation:)

We've been cooped up and tried to stay busy and active inside, but for goodness sakes it's May! Looks like Danika's not too excited about this particular rainy day...although she did love holding the umbrella and sportin' her rain jacket!
While we have been held up in the house the last month (with the exception of a few nice days here and there) we (meaning mostly Danika) got creative with the same ol' boring play things...
She spent nearly an hour and a half one day organizing, setting up, and having a tea party on our bed with all of her dolls and stuffed animals. This picture was taken only half way through set up:)
We also had to have the occasional bribery treat for continuing to share and play kind with Haddie in their cramped space together... 
Danika even did a nice job sharing that special treat with her lil sis
and of course had to help wipe her mouth when she was done:)

This smile is a big "thank you!"

When the weather did finally cooperate last weekend and a bit today, we took advantage of it and got outdoors. I got a bunch of flowers planted (which then of course had to be brought into the house when the blizzard arrived! Who knew to expect that for May?!?)
Danika wanted to be dad's big helper too with all of his outside job's
(Two peas-in-a-pod sitting their chairs in the garage) 
Bubble Time! 

Because of the ridiculous weather we've been having, Daren has been super delayed at work with planting (delayed as in, not at all yet started!) We took once last opportunity to have a family night before he's on the road late and overnights starting this week until who knows when...
We decided on a movie/popcorn night...
Ready for the big show! 
We got our sleeping bags out and even Sophie enjoyed it:) 

Danika had a blast and even stayed interested for the whole movie, which was impressive for  a 3 year old at all, but especially because the movie wasn't her 1st choice. She has really been asking to watch The Lion King, but all of my movies from when I was a kid are on VHS and all we have is a DVD player. No Redbox had it when we went to Target to get it, all they had left was the blue-ray version... (and I wasn't sure she could handle the scary parts anyway) She could NOT decide on another movie. Of course, she spotted the Dora collection, but much to her disappointment I squashed that idea. I know, mean mom! 1.) because she already has about 8 Dora movies, and 2.) because we wanted more of something we would all enjoy. We tried to talk about how Dora is more of a short show and we wanted a movie for the whole family. I settled on a classic, Charlotte's Web and thought she would enjoy it. I tried to tell her all about the farm animals and she was not convinced she'd like it...eventually, mom won the battle and talked her into it after elaborating on a few more details (the good ones of course, not the sad parts) Long story short...she loved it!
Another fun part of our weekend was going to the Mall of America- The girls would probably say shoe shopping was not so much fun, but in the end the waiting was worth it because Danika got to go on 2 rides....of course she picked the Merry-go-round. For her second choice, this was a little trickier. At 1st she said the roller coaster (as in, the one that goes upside down about 6 times!) when I told her she was too little she was a little disappointed, but quickly got over it and chose the Diego bus ride that was also kind of like a mini coaster:)
One last glimpse that we are out of hibernation....
Remember that tiny planter I created back in March?!?! Well, the good folks at Down to Earth took extra good care of it and it is growing like CRAZY! This thing is wild- I probably would have done a little different mix of flowers, had I realized how wild they were going to get:)
Happy Spring (Finally!)
The Dummers