Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gone Too Soon

I am sad to announce that on Monday we lost Tonka. He was just over a year old.

Saturday night he was vomiting every couple of hours so Sunday morning we brought him in. An x-ray showed that he had a foreign mass in his stomach. It was small and the doctor wasn't too worried about it. He gave us some medicine to help it pass and told us to call back Monday if he wasn't better. The vomiting stopped but by Monday morning he was extremely lethargic and didn't look well. Mark brought him in for an ultrasound. It revealed that his intestine had folded in on it's self and the acid from his stomach was eating it. He was rushed to an emergency clinic where they attempted to operate. Once they started, they discovered that 12 inches of his intestine would need to be removed. The damage was extensive. It was a 50/50 shot. He would need at least two or more surgeries after this one. One of the side effects could be consistent diarrhea. We made the decision to stop the surgery.

Tonka was only with us for three months but he had become part of the family. When we got him, he had some serious physiological issues. He didn't trust people or other dogs. During the last couple weeks, he had come along way and was a content, happy dog. He still had issues at home with other dogs being near his backyard. He still had to be on leash most of the time or he would mark the house. But it was getting better. We were able to take him to the dog park without any incidents. He would not play with the other dogs, but there was no growling or cowering. He walked in the pack and was interested in what was going on.

He knew his commands like nobody's business. You could throw his tuggy and he would sit and wait until you gave him the OK that he could get it. The Friday before, I had the day off and took him up to the mountains to go hiking. Everyone, and I mean everyone on that trail commented about what a good/beautiful dog he was. And he was.

He also helped Morgan immensely. Before Tonka, Morgan had a couple of incidents with dogs that made her skittish. Since Tonka required such intense training, Morgan quickly picked up on it and engaged in it. You could see her confidence grow as she lead Tonka around, giving commands and having him listen. He quickly became her buddy.

Telling Morgan was heartbreaking. She cried and cried. We had just lost another American Eskimo in the Fall and now, we were losing another. She asked if we thought that Tonka was able to find Cheyenne up in Heaven and if they were able to be together. We assured her that Cheyenne and Tonka are playing together right now. We went for a walk and she saw the back of a sign taped to a street light. Her face light up and she asked if the sign was for Tonka. She rounded the street light, her face dropped and she said that it wasn't. She thought it was a missing dog sign for Tonka. I had to explain that he wasn't missing and therefore, he would not have a sign up for him.

Even Champ, our Lab and Abbey, the cat seem to be moping around the house and clinging to us more. He wasn't with us long, but he left a last impression that will be missed by us.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Morgan B and the Candy Factory

Morgan's birthday is not until July, but with the 4th on one side of it and our trip to Oregon on the other, we decided to have her party this past weekend. When planning the party, we gave her several option. Being the candyholic, she jumped at the Hammond's Candy Factory.

The party included a tour of their factory where they still make their candy by hand. Before the tour, they showed a short video. There were many ooohs and ahhhs as the different candies flashed across the screen as well as great excitement when they saw that Santa fills up his sled with Hammond candy canes in December (Note to self: buy these for stocking stuffers this year).

The kids were glued to the windows during the tour, as a lady narrated what they were looking at.

I thought it was a little disappointing that they only had three workers and two assembly lines going since all of the lines go during the week, but the kids didn't seem to mind. They couldn't take their eyes off the three workers that were there. The tour was short, consisting of two rooms, the kitchen and the packing room. Even Morgan commented on the length of the tour, but she still enjoyed it.

After the tour, the kids got to pick a piece of candy from a large vat and we moved on to the party room where we had pizza, cake and ice cream. Morgan had picked out a Little Mermaid stage cake. A stage cake is where you pay for a whole cake, but only get 3/4 of one.

Then they played two games of Candy Bingo, where the winners got (suprise!) more candy to take home.

The favors consisted of a coloring book, a rope lollipop and a barber pole. They thought it was neat that they saw the scissor that cut the end of their barber pole candy. The parents will be sending us their kid's dentist bills shortly.

Finally it was present time, or what I like to call The Kiddie Mosh-Pit. I don't care how far away all those kids start, by the time you are half way through opening presents, they have all managed to magically squeeze in an area that normally would fit three.

As the birthday girl, Morgan got to pick out a giant one pound lollipop and stuffed animal. She picked the pink bubblegum lollipop and a black bear wearing a Hammond t-shirt. Apparently one pound is extreme even for a candyholic because she asked the lady if she could trade her lollipop in for one of the smaller ones. The lady told her she could have both. Morgan was thrilled, us... not so much.

The party was labeled a success and Morgan left with a smile and great memories.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No Water Bottles Required

Perhaps you have seen the list going around entitled "To kids who survived the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's" listing all the things we survived through our childhood that kids this days no longer get to experience. They range from things that were legitimately dangerous such as pregnant mom's who smoked and not wearing a seat belt to things that have simply gone to the roadside such as Little league having tryouts and not everyone making the team.

One of the things on the list was that we drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

This weekend Morgan got to experience this childhood joy. It did not come naturally. It took some coaxing and convincing that the water from the hose would not kill her. Mark explained how growing up, this was the only way he drank water in the summer. She still wasn't buying it so he had to take a drink first. Seeing that he didn't fall over, she decided to give it a try.

And now she can't get enough of it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day 2009

Happy Father's Day! We had a nice quiet day hanging around the house. Mother Nature finally got the memo that it's summertime and cooperated long enough to take Morgan to our pool. Swim lessons have made her comfortable enough in the water to be dangerous. She was having a great time "swimming" back and forth between Mark and I, which I'm sure looked more like she was drowning to the causual observer.

After swimming Grandpa, Uncle Matt and Anne came over for a BBQ.

Mark showed off his mad new skills. Look out Gigi, you have competition now in balloon animals. Here he's made Morgan and Anne flower hats. While Mark might be embarrassed that he's inquired this new talent, Morgan thinks he's a rock star. And that my friends, is all that matters.

Morgan and Anne in their balloon hats.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

You might be a bit odd when the following occurs:

Coming from the bathroom we hear "Stop copying me! I said stop! I mean it! Stop copying me!"
Do we suddenly have a second child? Nope. Is a friend over visiting? No. Maybe even an imaginary friend? Wrong again.

It is Morgan arguing with her reflect in the mirror.

You might be a bit odd when your idea of fun is having a panty raid... with your own panites.

Nobody said we had a normal household!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Camping At Mountain Park Campground

During this camping trip, it became very clear that Morgan is growing up.

Exhibit A: She wanted to leave her lovies Froggy and Bobby at home. She has not spent a night without them since she was born. I stowed them away in a hidden bag, just in case things went south once night came. But she didn't even ask about them.

Exhibit B: Both nights she slept by herself in the camper while we were at the fire... with the lights out. I offered to leave a light on for her, but was told "No thanks".

Exhibit C: Our hike on the Kreutzer Nature Trail. The trail turned out to be a 3 hour hike, over very rough and difficult terrain. And that's 3 hours of serious hiking, not lallygagging. At several points, each adult had to hold the hand of a child since the drop-offs on the side of the "trail" were very hairy. She did not whine or complain once but hiked on like a true trooper. Even I wanted to scream are we done yet. As a matter of fact all four kids did exceptionally well.

Unfortunately, my batteries in my camera died at the beginning of this trip so I don't have any pictures. However, I found this other blog that has great pictures and a commentary about the trail. Click HERE to be really impressed on what these 3-8 year olds did.

Tonka came with us on this trip and Champ stayed behind. He surprised us with how well behaved he was. Or it could be we just wore him out enough with the hike!

We really liked this area outside of Ft. Collins and would love to camp here another year. Next time, we would plan a rafting trip down the Poudre - a family floating one until the kids get bigger.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Pre-K Class of 2009

Friday evening was Morgan's Pre-K Graduation Ceremony. The school put on a great ceremony. First the director gave a speech, then the teachers, and then four of the students. The class sang "The Caterpillar" and the "I've been going to Pre-K" song. Unfortunately, it was hard to see and I had a lady with huge 80's hair in front of me, so the video didn't turn out very well. I'm only going to post pictures. Don't worry grandparents, I'll send you the video later.

Grammie and Rich made it to the ceremony.

Morgan quickly took her cap and gown off so sadly, we don't have many pictures of her in the outfit.

Here she is with her new teacher, Ms. Dawn. Ms. Dawn joined the school a few months ago and all the kids just love her.
Morgan with her boyfriend Cullen. They have big plans to get married today.

They served cake and punch afterwards (Ashley, Ivyon, Destiny, Abigal and Morgan)

The "Girls" Sophia, Morgan, Taralyn and Ellie

Morgan and Kayton. They are the only two who will be in the same Kindergarten class in August.

Kathy, Taralyn's Mom told me to imagine this picture taken 10 years from now at a concert. Thanks Kathy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fro' Me to You: Bridesmaids and Bartops

That's me in the back. I've heard it's hard to tell the difference between me and Julie. Everyone thought we were sisters. Apparently, all short blondes look alike and therefore MUST be related.

Anyways, this picture was taken after one of our best friends wedding. Nothing says bridemaid like a purple Barney dress. And nothing says class like two bridesmaids dancing on a bar without shoes on.

This bar was awesome. It was called McSwiggins and the only dance floor was on the bar. Yes, on the bar. On purpose. And it was fun. Until some uncoordinated, intoxicated patron fell off and had to sue the bar for his own stupidity. The bar closed, ruining everyone's fun. In this day and age, there will never be another bar like it.

Head on over to The Glamorous Life to see more Fro' Me To You shots. Check out the guidelines here. And then play along!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WW: One Man's Junk

This is Morgan's "Treasure Drawer", where she stores all of her trinkets and such. It might look like a mess to you, but she knows the complete inventory so don't even try to weed things out without her knowledge. You will be busted.

For more WW, visit Angie.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wedding and Birthday

This weekend was busy with a wedding on Saturday and a birthday party on Sunday.

One of my girlfriends and co-workers got married on Saturday. The groom is a fireman so the reception was at the firehouse, complete with fireman hat favors for the kids.

Morgan danced during the whole reception. She really liked hanging out with the older girls, who swung and twirled the younger kids.

She even tried to catch the bouquet.

And slow danced with Emma, the bride's daughter.

I love these picture of the two of them, even though it's blurred. I think it really captures the joy and fun they were having together.

On Sunday, before Kaitlyn and Gavin's birthday party, we had some excitement with a tornado in the area. We could see the funnel cloud right out of our kitchen window. It hit the shopping center and residential area a couple miles south of us. We had some hail in our neighborhood, but luckily it wasn't the golf ball size hail they were getting down the road.

Once the party started, the weather cleared up enough so that the kids could play outside.

Happy 3rd Birthday Gavin and Happy 4th Birthday Kaitlyn!