February 26, 2008

Four Months and a Funeral

Needless to say the last four months have been busy for us. Starting with the 1st of November and the writer's strike. Since my husband is a writer, he has been home and out of work for the last four months. Not so bad though because in the end, its been a huge blessing for our family. Ruby and Ila have LOVED having daddy home all the time. Scott has been out of town since Ruby came home in June and they needed that time to catch up and bond. And that they did! I picked up some freelance work this last month and Scott stayed home with the girls during the day -- his premiere as a stay-at-home-dad! We even made the local news and newspaper regarding the strike. And Ila was super excited for daddy to be home and tuck her into bed every night. We have spent so much great, quality time together as a family that I kind of believe the strike was a blessing in disguise.

Then Scott's dad developed some blood clots in his legs around Thanksgiving. Being a barber and standing on his feet all day, we didn't think it was anything serious. Sadly, he passed away three days before Christmas from cancer. Some days are really hard. And others I can't help but thank God that Scott was home and able to be with his family the month of December and be there for his mom. I don't know how we would have gotten through if Scott was in California still working. I also realize that God's plan included us moving back to Minnesota 2 years ago so this time could be spent with our families. Ila and Ruby are so lucky to have gotten to know their Grandpa Smokey who loved them so much and that brings me such peace.

In difficult times, kids can always bring a smile to your face. They are so smart. And so honest. Laying in bed one night Ila asked Scott when God was going to die. Scott said, "God isn't going to die". She looked at him with a big smile and said "Yeah! I am so proud of him!". Both kids were very aware of what was happening with Grandpa and they never forget to include him in their prayers at night and send their love to heaven.

Ila also was very aware of her 4th birthday on December 14th! She was so excited and had been talking about it for weeks. We had a party for her at the Mall of America's Underwater World. We had cake and played games and even got a "behind the scenes tour" where we could see the sharks, turtles and fish from above. We also had a princess party for her at home with family.

Ruby has been sick a few times throughout these winter months. At first I thought it was just a bad cold and flu season. Then one night when we were walking up the stairs to get ready for bed, she had to sit down to catch her breath and she was wheezing really bad. I took her into urgent care and found out she has bronchiolitis and we were sent home with a nebulizer. If this patten continues, it may be asthma. I am glad to have this nebulizer so when she does get a cold, we can treat her ourselves. Ila and Ruby both had a horrible flu bug over the last few weeks which included 3-day fevers of 103 degrees for both of them. Thankfully, Ruby's didn't turn into the cold and breathing difficulty she had in the past. So maybe she is outgrowing it and it won't develop into asthma...fingers crossed!

Ila's preschool class performed a Christmas program in December and she was assigned the role of Mary. I was so excited when she casually mentioned to me one day that she was playing this part. I asked her all kinds of questions and what she was going to be doing and she said, "Mom, I am just going to be watching over the baby!". As I told all the grandparents that Ila was playing Mary, she would overhear me and say, "Mom, stop telling everyone. I don't want to be nervous!"

Christmas didn't seem like Christmas this year but with a 4 and 2 year old in the house, it wasn't going to pass by unnoticed. It was Ruby's first Christmas with us and she definitely had fun. Ila showed her the ropes and together they had a great time. Santa brought them Star Station and they can put on quite the karaoke show! Ruby has been sleeping in her bed for months now but she still would wake up in the middle of the night crying for me. Not only has she out grown that now, but she also doesn't wear pull-ups at night anymore either!

Valentine's Day was a big hit this year. We melted old crayons into heart shapes and the girls gave them to their friends and classmates with cards that said "You brighten my world!". They turned out so cute! The girls got matching pink rain coats thanks to Grandma Lulu and most of the candy made it into the trash can before they got too attached :) I took Ila ice skating for the first time and she was a star! She liked it so much that I signed her up for lessons. She also had another pajama day at school and was beyond excited to get to wear her cozy pj's to school again. And this year, we also celebrated Chinese New Year by going to a lantern festival where the girls got to dress up in their Chinese outfits, make paper lanterns and watch a dragon parade. Ruby was paralyzed with excitement taking it all in. Ila had fun playing tug-of-war and signing songs. They both have been brushing up on their Chinese watching "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan" on Nickelodeon -- their new favorite show! I better catch up quick before they are able to speak it without me knowing what they say!!

Peace, Blessings and Happy New Years!

Scott, Ruby, Ila & Grandpa Smokey - July 2007

Sisterly Love

Ila's Thanksgiving Song

Thanksgiving at Grandpa Bruce's house

Going to preschool

Ruby in her Big Girl Bed

Ila's 4th Birthday at Underwater World

Girls in their Christmas dresses

Ila playing Mary in her school play

Ruby in her Nebulizer mask

My brother's 40th birthday

Ila's first ice skating experience

Valentine's Day

Pajama Day at preschool

Lantern Festival


Amy, Ryan, Aidan & Lauren said...

Great update and photos. I'm glad you've been able to spend more time together as a family. Sorry for the loss of Scott's father.

I-Chwen said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures! The girls are soooo cute - my favorite was the one they sit on the bed together. Sorry to hear about Scott's father. Take care.

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