Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas Break- Part 4

January 1-  This was supposed to be the final day of our trip to California. We extended the trip because of the funeral obviously. The airline charged us $200 per ticket to change! Can you believe that?! Supposedly they will refund us the money since there was a death in the family. I had to send in a copy of the death certificate so we are still waiting to hear about that.

At 1 p.m. Stacie, my mom, and I went to the funeral home to dress Grandma in her temple clothes. It was a very different experience to say the least. It didn't bother me to see her. I knew that her spirit was elsewhere and in a good place so I wasn't worried about her. I've seen bodies before in anatomy class so maybe that helped. We put her temple clothes on. The funeral director was able to give us some helpful pointers (he's LDS). Stacie and I were able to put on Grandma's makeup. We brought her own makeup from her house so we knew it would look good. Once we got her foundation on and gave her color she looked just like grandma. I also painted her nails. We figured she would like that. She had just gotten a pedicure that looked really good but no one would see that!

After that, we went over to the Vaughn's house to feed the horses. Their neighbor's have three horses that Volcom loves to feed and I thought my girls would like it too. They have three horses- one little pony, a medium size horse, and a very large horse! Just look at that guy! Colin looks short compared to the horse. Speaking of Colin, he held Owen most of the time we were there. Jill and Colin drove him over in their car too. Owen didn't even care his parents were there. He really liked Colin this trip!

Anna was afraid to feed the horse at first. They do have rather large teeth and mouths!

But eventually she fed the horse all by herself!

Volcom had no problems feeding the horses since he's done it many times. The kids especially liked feeding the pony since it was smaller.

I don't think Macy ever fed the horse straight from her hand. She mostly threw the carrot through the fence for the horse to eat from the ground.

Then we went back to Randy's parents house. They had a ton of clementines, lemons, and avocados to pick! I'm jealous of that California produce straight from the backyard!

Randy's grandpa used to farm on the land so he had an old tractor. Those things are always fun to play on!

After leaving the house we drove over to Grandpa Seymour's to spend more time with him. He wanted to see his great grandkids one more time before we left. I fed Owen in this high chair. He's the third generation to have used it. Grandpa said he bought it at a yard sale and fixed it up for his kids. It's in amazing condition! Owen looked happy to be in it!

I had another fun night spending it with grandpa, my siblings, my parents, and cousins. It made me realize we don't see each other often enough! I loved the feeling I had that we all were in the most important place that night. No one wanted to be anywhere else. We had fun looking through some of grandma's things and taking things we wanted. Macy came home with a bag full of stuff!

We took the kids home to bed and prepared for the funeral the next day.

January 2-  Grandma's funeral.  The family viewing started at 10 a.m. I had Macy and Anna with me since Ja was waiting in the car with napping Owen. Macy really wanted to see grandma in the casket so I took them both up there. Grandma had a fork in her hand and naturally Macy was curious about this. Grandma always said she wanted to be buried with  a fork in her hand. She said oftentimes people say, "Keep your fork! The best is yet to come!" So she wanted a fork knowing there are better things to come to her.

Uncle Steve made the programs and they turned out really nice.

The funeral service was a wonderful time celebrating Grandma. Dorothy had Owen in the back, Macy sat by Jill, and Anna was with me. All three of them were great! 

Aunt Kathy shared a story of Grandma and Kevin. Grandma asked Jill what she wanted for Christmas and she replied with a my size barbie doll. Kevin (who was a teenager) said he wanted a my size barbie doll too. Kevin opened his present at Christmas and it was a regular barbie doll and grandma put a post-it note on the box that read: Just add water.

My dad shared a funny story he still remembers about Grandma. He was a young boy sitting on the floor coloring with Grandma. They were watching TV and a no smoking commercial came on with the famous red circle with a line through it. Grandma then drew a red circle around half of the coloring page and drew a line through it. She said, "There, now you don't have to color half of the picture!" That's grandma's humor for you.

My Uncle Eric took some pictures of the graveside service. It was a beautiful service and the funeral director shared a story I liked a lot. It went something like this: There is an Indian tribe that "initiates" a boy into a man when the time comes by having him sit it blindfolded in one spot all night long. He can hear the wild animals around him, hear sticks cracking nearby, but he must remain blindfolded and sitting in one spot. When the sun rises the next day he removes the blindfold to see his father sitting right next to him. The father was with his son all night long for protection. The funeral director said this story relates to grandma because although we can't see her she is always with us, protecting us.

A few people stood up and said some remarks about Grandma. Macy kept telling me I should tell everyone about my memories of being at Grandma's house for Christmas. I had told Macy about them a few days earlier. She must have been feeling the Spirit but didn't want to talk in front of everyone so she made me do it :)

Me with my cousins, Erica, Bryce, Evan, Mackenna (evan's wife)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Break 2015- Part 3

Part 3 was definitely the worst part of the trip. But I also loved it.

December 27- 4:30 a.m. I hear the phone ring. It rings and rings but my parents don't answer it. (I thought my mom had a phone right by her bed. Turns out they got rid of that.) I hear the answering machine go off. It's Grandpa Seymour saying Grandma is in the hospital. I think about answering it but then think there's nothing I can do about her so I'll try to go back to sleep.

Then Owen wakes up crying. I'm begging him to go back to sleep in my mind. He doesn't so I go in his room to try to get him back to sleep. While I'm in there the phone rings again. Someone else leaves a message but I can't make out the words.

The phone rings and third time. I decided someone really wants to talk to us so I answered it. It was Grandpa again. He was crying. He said Grandma is in the hospital and she's not going to make and I need to tell my dad. That startles me awake. I tell my parents and they rush off to the hospital.

I told them to assess the situation when they get there and let me know if I should also come to see Grandma one last time. About 5:30 a.m. I get a text from my mom I should come and Kenny should come with me. I left Owen (who never fell back asleep) with Ja and frantically try to get a hold of Kenny who is sleeping across the street. Finally at 6  I'm able to get through to Elle. Kenny and I race to the hospital. We found out Stacie was also on her way over.

We enter the room and encounter a very somber situation. Grandma was in a coma on her bed. Grandpa was in a chair next to her. Aunt Kathy and Aunt Steve were on the couch. No one was saying anything. I think we were all in shock. Aunt Kathy said she thought she was coming to the hospital with Grandma and would go home later that afternoon just like they've done before.

I took this picture of my hand with Grandma. I always thought our wedding rings were similar so I wanted to have one last picture of them together.
Grandma fell around 3:30 a.m. Grandpa helped her up and tried to get her back to bed when she started vomiting. He called 911. She was alert and talking when they took her in for a CT scan. After the scan she went into a coma. The CT scan showed she had a brain aneurysm.  We don't know if the fall caused it for if she already had the aneurysm and that's what caused the fall.

Of course we were all very surprised by this because we had seen her two days before and she was happy and healthy. Aunt Kathy said grandma cooked dinner on Christmas.

Eventually Stacie, Lisa, Griff, Delany, Ja, Elle, Landon, Randy come to the hospital. Jill was able to get a flight that came in at 1pm so Ja picked her up. Kevin was able to come in that evening as well. We were all able to spend a lot of time reminiscing about Grandma and the fun times we had growing up together. I had Grandpa tell the story of how he and Grandma met and how he knew she was the one he wanted to marry.

The mood in the room got better as the day went on. However, Grandma did not get better. When I got there that morning she would move her legs a little and seemed to have life in her. As the day progressed she stopped moving and once Ja got there he felt she was already gone.

Throughout the day some people from Grandpa's ward came to visit. President Williams who is in their stake presidency came with Grandpa's bishop. President Williams was the bishop when Aunt Karen passed away and has helped Grandpa and Grandma come back to church. They were able to give Grandpa a blessing. I'm so mad at myself that I didn't record it. President gave a powerful blessing about the atonement and coming to Christ so Grandpa doesn't feel lonely.

Everyone decided to go home around 8 p.m. We all needed sleep and no one had any idea how long Grandma would stay alive. My parents stayed at the hospital so Aunt Kathy could go home and shower. Then she would return. As my siblings and I were walking out of the hospital I said I hoped Grandma would go soon for Grandpa's sake. It's hard waiting around not knowing how long to wait. She wasn't on any life support. Kenny and I were driving home together when we got a call at 8:15. Grandma had taken her last breath. I couldn't believe that it was minutes after we all said our good-byes to her. The nurse told my mom that happens a lot. The family says good-bye for the night then the person leaves. 

It took me a long time to fall asleep that night because I was thinking about Grandpa. How would it be not having your wife around after being married for 57 years?

Thankfully Ja was able to drop the kids off at Dorothy's house so I could spend the day with Grandma and my family. After he got them settled he picked up Jill and came to the hospital too. I was so grateful to know my children were being taken care of someone who loves them. That made staying at the hospital all day so much easier for me. Dorothy even sent me some pictures. They discovered Owen loves spaghetti! He inhales the stuff!

 December 28- My siblings and I went to Grandpa's house to hang out and help in some way. Mostly I wanted to be with family again after the somehow enjoyable day yesterday. Again, we enjoyed being together and thinking about Grandma and her life. She was a kind, loving woman who always helped those around her.

We took a short break from Grandpa's because Aunt Kathy was having a hard time with losing her mom. We decided to visit Aunt Karen's grave which is a few minutes away.

We ate Inn-in-out for lunch and just stayed at Grandpa's house. I loved being all together with no worries of needing to be somewhere else. No one was trying to leave, no one was pulling on my pant leg. It was so enjoyable to just be together.

My siblings and I took a picture together on Grandma's couch. We can't remember the last time we took a sibling picture!

Ja brought the kids back to Yorba Linda that night because they were asking for me. I helped put them to bed.

December 28- My parents wanted us to have somewhat of a normal day today. I took the girls to get real donuts at Kenny' donuts. They were so good and I can't believe we didn't go back again!

It started out with a visit to the CVS minute clinic. Macy had been complaining about her ear hurting for a couple days and last night she was up a lot crying about it. I took her in and she did have an ear infection. We picked up an antibiotic and were on our way home.  We didn't have to wait too long but Anna kept herself busy playing with the little cars at CVS.

The girls love their Aunt Jill
 After Owen's nap we headed over to Downtown Disney for beignets. We had fried dough for breakfast so why not have more for a snack! They were hot right out of the frier. I don't think I've had them that fresh before because these beignets were extra delicious! Even Owen enjoyed them.

We walked around for a little bit and played at the Lego store. We didn't stay very long because Elle was at home with Landon napping and we didn't want her to be alone for too long.

That night Grandpa and Grandma Francis came over for dinner. I couldn't believe Owen let Grandpa hold him and I was standing right in front of him! I was glad I could capture this cute picture.

 December 30- I honestly can't remember what we did this day. I don't have any other pictures than this cute one of Owen and Jill.

Oh, the girls went shopping for maternity clothes for Jill. We went to Kohls because Grandma Seymour had Kohls cash in her wallet. We all decided Jill needed it to buy maternity clothes because she didn't have any!

I know Colin drove in from Utah that night. We had to switch around kids so Jill and Colin could have a room. Macy, Anna, and I were in a bedroom together. The first night I slept on the floor while the girls were on the bed. After that Anna slept on the floor and Macy and I slept on the bed. Ja and Owen were in the other room together. Owen would start off in the pack n' play but Ja would bring him into bed when he woke up in the middle of the night.

December 31- New Year's Eve! The whole Seymour clan drove out to Pasadena so Jill could get an ultrasound by Greg. The baby looks good and she is measuring large for her dates :)

We went to La Canada afterwards to have lunch from New Moon. Dorothy knows it's my favorite so she suggested it. As usual we ordered too much food so it made for yummy leftover the next couple days. The kids had fun playing with all of the toys. Macy was excited that Volcom got to see her other grandma's house.

My little family stayed in La Canada so Owen could take a good nap. Everyone else went back to Yorba Linda. Ja and I stopped at BevMo to pick up some root beer for our Annual Root Beer tasting contest. We had twelve to taste. Macy and Anna helped me cover up the labels so the marketing wouldn't sway our votes.

After Owen's nap we headed back to YL. Macy was still crying every two hours about her ear hurting. The amoxicillin should have kicked in by now! I couldn't deal anymore with the crying every two hours all throughout the night and wanted her to feel better! We found another clinic I could take her to that was still open at 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve. What a blessing!

This doctor said Macy had a double ear infection in her right ear (inner and outer ear) and another one in her left ear. My poor girl! He prescribed a stronger antibiotic and some ear drops. Another miracle was we found a pharmacy still open too! We got home and somehow got Macy to take her medicine. She said it was disgusting! The first couple doses took her 30 minutes to finish because she hated how it tasted. Putting drops in her ears was also a pain. But she did it and after that first dose I could tell she was feeling better! The next day I hardly had to give her tylenol. What a blessing. 

Macy said the lady at CVS should be fired for giving her the wrong medicine. Now, back at home, every time we pass a CVS she says, "CVS! Those doctors should be fired!"

We finally had our root beer contest and after some good ones and some not very good ones (So duh!) we found a winner- Fitz's. I think that one has won in the past before. I don't think anyone stayed up until midnight. I was up giving Macy some tylenol but no on else was awake. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Break 2015- Part 2

December 24- After a lot of traffic we finally made it to Yorba Linda!

Stacie, Randy, Volcom, Kenny, Elle, and Landon were there. Landon and Owen are now 1 year old and we met Landon for the first time. It's so sad it took a year to meet him. I felt like I saw him grow up on Facebook and Cluster so I didn't feel too left out. The dads took the kids to the park so the moms could get dinner ready for the rest of the Seymour clan. We actually wrapped presents for my kids most of the time :)

We had a fun time with Grandma and Grandpa Seymour, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Steve, Derek, Lisa, Griff, and Delaney. We ate a ham dinner then did a gift exchange. We all put in a $10 gift in the middle of the room. We then went around rolling two dice and if you rolled two 6's then you chose a gift. After you opened it someone could steal it from you if they rolled two 6's. We ended up getting two adult coloring books that Macy and Anna enjoy. We originally had a "Bucket List" metal bucket, so I stole the coloring books from my dad. I joked and said he's more likely to need a bucket list than I am.

We also celebrated Landon's, Owen's, Macy's, and my dad's birthdays.

Sadly, I didn't take a single picture that night. I was a little occupied with a cranky Owen and didn't think about pictures. Plus, we were going to eat dinner with Grandma and Grandpa that Sunday so I'd take pictures with them then. Now that I know the events that would play out the next couple of days I'm very sad I didn't take any pictures that night. I had no idea it would be the last time I would see Grandma Seymour alive.

December 25-  Stacie and Randy slept over at his parent's house so we waited to open presents once they got to our house. It was fun to have so many people in the house again! We barely fit!

Of course it was sad not to have Jill and Colin with us. We did FaceTime with them while mom and dad opened their "Why We Believe" book.

We had a pancake, egg, and sausage breakfast together. I think everyone was watching Santa Claus 2 in this picture. (Volcom was watching Finding Nemo on the computer- his favorite.) 

Landon is a good little walker!

It was fun to have little kids around again to open fun presents!

Macy and Anna got digital cameras from Santa. I'm so glad we gave them to the girls because they had fun taking pictures of everyone. After lunch we all went to Tri City Park to feed the ducks and play. Macy made a new friend and they took pictures together. Macy only played with her for about 20 minutes but whenever she looks back on the pictures on her camera she says, "That's my friend!"Ja had the kids (especially Volcom) squealing with joy at the playground. There was a little table there so the kids sat at it and ordered from the "restaurant." Ja would bring out a big pile of wood chips as their food but would trip or sneeze and throw the wood chips over the table, or over them. They thought that was hilarious. After a while Macy started to give her order then say, "And don't sneeze!"

Later that night we got together with the Francis family for dessert and presents. Macy and Owen got more birthday presents that night too. Again, I didn't take any pictures but Macy sure did with her camera! I'll have to do a post with her photos.

December 26- We wanted to do something fun as a family so we drive down to San Juan Capistrano. Grandma Seymour had given some of us Ruby's gift cards so we went to lunch together. It's fun being all together. We had to wait awhile for a table to fit all of us. The kids were great because their was a rotating train engine and a train up above us that entertained them all.

We eventually put Owen on the rotating platform. Not for too long though.

I loved the concern on Volcom's face. Anytime the train would go out of sight he'd get sad and say, "Where train go?!"

Here's the whole group! Landon is next to Elle in a high chair and I'm taking the picture.

These boys loved their french fries. We got the sweet potato fries and they were so good!

After lunch we walked for a few minutes to a petting zoo.

Landon loved poking Owen in the mouth and eyes. Owen didn't enjoy the eye gouging too much.

Anna was pretty brave with the little guinea pigs. We bought a vegetable tray so the kids could feet them. Anna had to fear and fed them little carrots and then little pieces of lettuce. She let them eat let lettuce right out of her hands.

 You can see Anna's hand feeding the lettuce in the below picture. Macy pet some but was a little tot timid to pick them up. I have to admit it was a little scary at first to pick them up because they would scramble to get out of my hands.

The girls liked brushing the goats and sheep. When the sheep would stand up it would look Anna straight in the eyes. She was a little nervous about this but not as scared as I would've been if I met an animal at my eye level!

In the middle of our time at the petting zoo Owen pooped so I went to change him. The changing table is outside in a place where there are lots of people walking by. While I had the diaper off Owen decided to poop some more. It was a big mess and I only had one diaper, a small amount of wipes, and the changing pad with me. I had no one to help with the mess so I had to wrap Owen in the changing pad to get my mom to help. I didn't have extra clothes for Owen and I had just used my last diaper. Later on I found out I had formula but no bottle to put it in! I did a terrible job packing for the day!

The highlight of this petting zoo was the corn bin. The kids loved it! Owen and Landon liked eating it so we had to be diligent in keeping it out of their mouths. Macy and Anna filled their shoes like buckets and dumped it over each other's heads- even Owen's.

Stacie lied down in the corn and we told the kids to bury her. Volcom was unaware of the burying at first. The girls covered most of her legs when Volcom came over, noticed his mommy is covered, and yells, "No! Mommy!" and frantically pushes the corn off. I thought it was pretty funny. It's sweet how concerned he was about his mommy and how she might be hurt.

I wanted to get a picture of my parents with all their grandkids. Macy and Anna would not be a part of it and you can see Volcom didn't want to be either. So we tried with the little boys since they don't really care. Of course with two little boys it was hard to get everyone to look at the camera (including my dad!) but it's documented.

There were a couple of ornaments hanging just above their heads and once Landon and Owen discovered those I couldn't get them to look at me anymore.

After the petting zoo we drove over to Stacie and Randy's new house in San Clemente. They moved in at the beginning of the summer so this was our first time seeing it. They live in a nice neighborhood on a cul-de-sac and only 10 minutes to the beach! Lucky them! We had fun hanging out and the kids played with all of Volcoms toys. He was generous and shared very well. I had to take this picture from the side because I didn't want my kids to see me. They were playing very well and I knew once they saw me it would all be over.

I wanted to try again to get a picture of the grandkids with my parents. This time Volcom didn't want Stacie to leave and Anna wouldn't let Ja leave. Macy wouldn't sit on the couch. I had the idea to put on a movie so the kids would at least be looking towards me.

I had to bribe Macy with $2  to get her to sit on the couch with everyone. That made Anna upset because she didn't want to share Ja's lap. It's hilarious how the three little boys are perfectly happy and the two girls are being difficult and not cooperating. Ja said that's the difference between girls and boys. But we got a picture with all 5 grandkids, right? Owen and Landon get the reward for best behaved.