Wednesday, April 30
I feel like I can't breathe without him.
by Jordin Sparks
Tell me how I'm supposed
to breathe with no air
If I should die before I wake
It's 'cause you took
my breath away
Losing you is like living in a world with no air
I'm here alone, didn't wanna leave
My heart won't move, it's incomplete
If there was a way that I can make you understand
But how do you expect me
To live alone with just me
'Cause my world revolves around you
It's so hard for me to breathe
Tell me how I'm supposed to breathe with no air
Can't live, can't breathe with no air
It's how I feel whenever you ain't there
It's no air, no air
Got me out here in the water so deep
Tell me how you gonna be without me
If you ain't here, I just can't breathe
It's no air, no air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
I walked, I ran, I jumped, I flew
Right off the ground to float to you
There's no gravity to hold me down for real
But somehow I'm still alive inside
You took my breath, but I survived
I don't know how, but I don't even care
So how do you expect me
To live alone with just me
'Cause my world revolves around you
It's so hard for me to breathe
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
It's no air, no air
On a side note, I got my act together earlier this week and settled my life insurance and will. I feel marginally better knowing that this is taken care of, and I also purchased a small policy on each child. I pray that I never, ever, ever have to use it, but the peace of mind it gives me knowing that it's there if I need it is comforting.
Tuesday, April 29
Close up of the cutie. Isn't she great? Sitting up is a recently acquired skill, one she's very proud of, and one Mom is happy she possesses.
This is Jazz, our new canine companion. Early last week I decided that the house was entirely too quiet after the kids go to bed, and I wanted a warm body to snuggle with while I watch TV. After discussing it with Russ and Angela, the kids and I went to the shelter on Thursday and adopted an Australian Shepherd/Rottweiler/Collie mix. She's about two years old, and gentle and mellow as can be. She is wonderful with the kids, is already house trained, and obeys most commands. Initially, having another body in the house to take care of was daunting, but after a few days she has really grown on me, and I take great comfort in her presence.
Sunday, April 27
Sunday, April 20
After making the arrangements for the oil change, we all piled into the van and drove to a nursery to buy some house plants. All but one of my beloved houseplants were given away when we left Utah last summer, and Ammon had been promising for months to replace them, so I had finally set a day for that to happen. We wandered around the nursery for a little while, and found absolutely nothing that we liked enough to pay for. In desperation, we drove to Wal-Mart, where I happily plunked down $30 for more plants than I could actually fit inside our house. We stopped at Rally's for lunch, and then a good portion of that afternoon was spent re-potting all these new plants. After the potting was done and Kadon was up from his nap, we all took a walk to the gas station near our house. We were really working on fitness as a family, and the two miles we walked that day were pleasant, if tiring. After we got home we quickly had dinner, then drove back to Midas in order to pick up Ammon's car, getting home just in time to put the kids to bed.
The last Saturday that we spent together was the day after our tax refund had been deposited in our checking account. We were practically giddy with the realization that we had several thousand dollars to spend, and after I spent the bulk of the money on responsible things, we set out to explore the new IKEA that just opened near here. I remember that Ammon was vaguely grumpy that morning, which really annoyed me because I had been looking forward to this outing for several days. The trip to IKEA turned out to be a bust anyway, because it was so crowded and the kids didn't end up behaving very well. We purchased some new bowls, an umbrella, a spray bottle, and a set of plastic cups. On the way out, we stopped by the 'as-is' section, and looked very seriously at a new entertainment center. We recently bought a much larger flat panel TV, and it is currently sitting on top of our entertainment center, which puts the TV just slightly too high to view comfortably. The entertainment center was only about $50, but would require us to purchase a small cabinet to store our DVD's in. I was surprised that Ammon wasn't insistent on purchasing the piece of furniture, but in the end didn't push him into it. On the way home, I asked him why he hadn't wanted the furniture. His reply keeps running through my head these days. "I don't feel good about spending the money. I don't know, maybe I'm going to die, and you'll need the money for yourself." How I wish he had been wrong.
After IKEA, we stopped at Long John Silver's for lunch, then took the kids to the park to play for a while. Because it was slightly cold, Brooklyn was in need of a nap, and the park was crowded, we didn't stay for long. We stopped at Meijer on the way home, where we had a great time wandering through the aisles and buying several things that we needed. I purchased a new dust buster, and Ammon picked out some small Lego sets for the boys. That evening, we barbequed Cornell chicken for dinner. I'll always remember standing out on the back patio with Ammon, who was holding Brooklyn wrapped up in a blanket. I cooked the chicken, and we chatted with our next door neighbor who shares the patio with us. Just yesterday, that same neighbor came outside while I was getting Jeremy out of the tree, and said to me "I knew somebody had died, but I didn't know it was him. I'm so sorry." I couldn't reply to her, I didn't know what to say. How could she not have felt the world dim when he breathed his last??
On Sunday, being conference weekend, we stayed home with the kids. I had planned to play conference bingo while we listened to the talks, but had forgotten to pick up the necessary candy while we were at the store on Saturday. As a family, we all traipsed to the Speedway in our pajamas on Sunday morning and purchased Reese's Pieces, peanut M&M's, and peanut butter M&M's. In the mood to celebrate, we also picked up some soda. Jeremy and Kadon picked out root beer, and when Ammon joked that we were getting soda that he couldn't drink (he hated root beer) I picked up another 12 pack of caffeine free Mountain Dew. Those two cases of soda are still sitting mostly untouched in my pantry today.
Monday morning, Ammon and I made the decision that we need to stop discussing joining the YMCA as a family, and simply get it over with. Because Ammon got off work early on Monday's, he decided it would be a good idea for us to meet at the YMCA at 4 o'clock every Monday afternoon, where he and I could work out together while the kids were watched. I arrived several minutes before him and started getting our membership together, and then we each took turns getting our pictures taken. After we dropped the kids off, Ammon briefly talked to me about the kind of machines I should do and the workout that would be most effective for me, and then left to go swim laps while I did the elliptical machine. I remember that as I was using the machine, I could crane my neck and see through the window into the swimming pool, where I could watch him swim his laps. I remember feeling so proud of us for doing this together as a family. After several minutes of the machine, I looked up and saw Ammon walk into the cardio room wearing his exercise clothes instead of his swimming suit. My heart still leapt at the unexpected sight of him, and I was confused that he was standing there and not swimming anymore. He came up next to me and we laughed about the fact that he had inadvertently invaded the swim team practice time, and then he told me that he would be playing basketball in the gym and to let him know when I was done. When I finished my 30 minutes, we picked up the kids and stopped at O'Charley's on the way home for dinner. Ammon joked with me on the way into the restaurant that I hadn't showered after my workout, and was still wearing my pajama pants and a t-shirt. He said "I can't believe you're going out like this.", with a chuckle in his voice. I am not the type to go into public without getting dressed, and he thought that was hysterical. I remember that he had the mushroom burger for dinner that night, and at one point I felt like sitting across the table was too far away from him and the boys, so I scooted over until I was sitting right next to Kadon. I just wanted to be closer to my family.
The Tuesday before Ammon died, I took the three kids to the zoo in the afternoon. After we had been there for a little while, I became concerned that it appeared as though there was a couple following the kids and I . I had stopped to sit on a bench to feed Brooklyn, and called Ammon at work. He was very concerned, and requested that I go back and re-visited a display I had already been to, and if the other couple was still following me, to go directly to security. He also admonished me to keep the kids close to me at all times, and be excessively aware of my surroundings. I remember how quickly he snatched up the phone and anxiously said hello when I called him a little while later. I'll never know if those people were following us or not, but I will always remember how concerned my husband was for the safety of his family. We had a good time at the zoo that day, and I talked to Ammon on the cell phone again as we got into the car to leave, and told him of our dinner plans.
On Wednesday, I made plans to grill again. We had marinated chicken breasts for dinner, along with some really nice asparagus that Ammon helped me prepare. We ate reasonably early, and then decided that it was a perfect night to go to United Dairy Farmer's for ice cream. We love to go get ice cream as a family, but rarely have an opportunity between dinner and bedtime. Ammon and I both got sundae's, and the kids each had a scoop of Superman. I remember that Ammon didn't like one of the flavors in his sundae, so I finished it for him. We were always sharing food like that, though it was usually me that couldn't finish something and he would eat it. That night, we got the kids to bed and watched TV for a while before going upstairs.
Wednesday was also the last time that we made love.
On Thursday, Ammon rose early so that he could have time to get everything ready for work that day, then spent the rest of the morning watching cartoons with the kids. I usually watch my nephew on Thursdays until about 3, and at 1 pm I decided that I was cranky and needed to exercise. I hadn't planned to go to the Y that day because there was grocery shopping to do after Jarin went home, but when I mentioned that to Ammon, he immediately volunteered to do my grocery shopping for me so that I could get to the gym. I had a great workout, then stopped at the store and grabbed just enough for us to have dinner. When I got home, I emailed my list to Ammon, and he happily picked up everything that I needed at the store. I was very impressed with his ability to bargain shop and still come out with exactly what I had requested. I remember he told me when he got home that night that he had developed a new appreciation for how hard it is to feed a family of five on a budget of $75-$100 every week. I also remember telling him how much I appreciated his thoughtfulness. Thursday night I caught up some recorded TV while Ammon laid on the living room floor and read, and when Brooklyn woke up screaming at 10:30, it was Ammon who tried to get her to calm down and go back to sleep. 30 minutes later, she was still screaming, and Ammon told me that he was going to bring her to bed with him so that we could all get some rest. Frustrated, I told him I thought that was a bad idea and I didn't want to set a precedence of her sleeping in our bed. After another 15 minutes passed, I finally got out of bed and managed to get her calmed down. Ammon and I stayed up talking after that until after midnight, and when the alarm went off at 6 am on Friday morning, I remember how hesitant he was to get out of bed. I felt so bad for how tired he must have felt, and told him so when I spoke to him later that morning. I had an appointment with a personal trainer at the Y on Friday morning, and informed him that I was considering skipping the appointment because I had exercised every day that week and was tired. He told me that it was rude to stand up the trainer, and encouraged me to quickly feed the children, get them dressed, and eat breakfast myself after I got back home. I followed his advice, and really enjoyed the workout. When I got home I settled the kids down in front of some cartoons, Brooklyn down for a nap, and got ready to take a shower. I was talking to Ammon while I ironed the pants I was planning to wear that day, and we talked about the 5K he was planning to run later this summer, and about our plans for the evening, which included a 'date night' we had planned with his parents. I was planning to pick up some fish to grill for dinner, and we discussed what to serve with is and what games we would play. Uncharacteristically, Ammon also told me that he wanted the kids and I to drive up to work and have lunch with him. I scoffed, and told him it was silly to drive 30 minutes each way to have lunch when he was planning to be home at 4 o'clock, but he persisted that it was a good idea. I discarded the idea, and moved on to my shower. I remember after my shower taking extra time getting dressed and doing my hair and makeup. For some reason, it was very important to me that Ammon think I looked beautiful that day. When I finally made up my mind to drive to his work for lunch, I didn't call him until I was on the road, and he was pleasantly surprised to hear that I was on my way. After eating a fairly quick lunch, we were on our way back to his office building, and he looked at me and said "You look really pretty today." I shyly smiled back at him and said "I was wondering if you were going to notice. I didn't get all dolled up for the kids." He had such a warm, pleasant look on his face, and I knew how proud he was that we were his family and that he had the opportunity to show us off to his co-workers. When we got ready to leave his work that day, Brooklyn opened her arms and leaned into him, which is something our little Mommy's girl has never done. I could practically hear Ammon's heart swell with pride and affection, and he gave her a warm embrace. We kissed goodbye and he told the kids he would be home in two hours. As we left the building, I caught his eye one last time and flashed him the sign for 'I love you'. He flashed it back, and then went back into his office.
On my way home from lunch, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up the ingredients for our meal. I talked to Ammon no less than three times while I was in the grocery store, and as I was checking out he called again, and I was playfully irritated with him. He asked me about another ingredient he wanted to be sure to have on hand, and I only half jokingly told him that if there was something else he needed, he'd have to stop on his way home and get it himself. What I wouldn't give to have him call me over and over again today.
When Ammon got home from work Friday night, I was in a frenzy of cleaning in preparation for his parents arrival. I had the boys picking up toys, and was attempting to put Brooklyn down for a nap. Ammon walked in and immediately got to work preparing a sauce for the trout. I remember the clenching pain in my heart after he had died, when I walked into the kitchen and saw the radishes on the cutting board and the trout on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator. We ended up preparing the trout for lunch on Saturday, and I couldn't bring myself to eat it. Even knowing that my husband had prepared it as one of his last loving acts on this earth, I couldn't get past the fishiness of the meal. If Ammon had been with me, I would have blushed and admitted that I didn't care for it. He would have been incredulous, and perhaps a tiny bit frustrated, but he would have gladly eaten my portion. Instead, I threw it away. I think that was one of the first moments that I really, really missed him.
Only an hour before he died, as we passed each other in the living room, he picked up Brooklyn. I had changed her diaper and left her laying on the changing table while I attended to some other task. When she started to fuss, Ammon picked her up and was playing with her. I quickly grabbed my camera, and took some shots of her in his arms. An hour later, he was dead. An hour later, our lives were shattered and our futures became so terribly uncertain.
These memories, the ones I have shared in probably terribly boring detail here, are what I cling to now. The love, the laughter, and the good times that we shared will forever live in my heart. I know that during the evenings last week we played games at least twice, and one night Ammon helped me fold laundry before bed. I can't begin to shape my days now. I don't know how to plan meals, laundry, and outings without the anchor of my sweet husband. Perhaps, in time, I'll learn, but for now I feel lost and drifting.
Saturday, April 19
I miss Ammon.
Sunday, April 13
I have been neglecting my MySpace, sorry about that. I don't even remember the last time I posted....let me think.
Things have been going fabulously for a while now, in fact they almost scare me in their fabulosity. Do you ever worry when life gets too perfect? Like you're worried for the other shoe to drop, waiting for some catastrophe to strike? Sometimes I think that we're all allotted a certain amount of happiness, and because I'm destined for some major suckiness later in life, I better get my shot at perfection now. Perfect husband, perfect kids, perfect life. In the meantime, we're just trying to live life to the fullest and enjoy ever minute that we get. Sometimes, perfection rocks.
Saturday, April 12
Friday, April 11
When I first came upon this habitat, I thought for sure that the huge pile of reptiles on top had to be a statue. The entire time I was there, they didn't move at all. However, as I moved around to the other side, one of them blinked one beady eye at me. Holy tiny alligator, batman!
I wish this picture had come out more clear, but I was zoomed waaaaay in to get something even remotely legible. This zoo is the proud host to a family of apes, and this is the mother taking an afternoon siesta with her charge safely nestled in her arms. We saw this habitat on our way out of the zoo, and frankly, I was rather jealous of her snooze. She definitely had the right idea here.
This picture took some quick camera work, before my subjects noticed me and moved! The boys kept taking turns carrying the map around the park, and toward the end they decided to mimic my behavior of checking our location every so often. Notice how Kadon has his hand tenderly on the small of Jeremy's back? Too, too cute.
Wednesday, April 9
Kadon was thrilled with the waterfall falling from the top of this indoor aviary. It was humid and warm, which makes me uneasy for this summer when it feels like that everywhere.
Part of the 1 year zoo pass that we purchased includes unlimited train, carousel, and tram rides for the whole family. This is the boys enjoying the slow moving train ride through part of the zoo.
This picture of Brooklyn came out a little bit blurry, but I wanted to get at least one picture of her on this outing, since I always seem to end up with pictures of the boys doing things, and none of the baby.
Flamingos! And not the kind that are generally situated in the lawn outside some body's house! I've never seen real flamingos, so that was kind of a treat. Unfortunately, my camera didn't pick up the vivid 'pinkness' of them.
The resident free-range peacock got unexpectedly close to us while we were walking around. I wish it had fanned out it's beautiful feathers, it seems such a shame to see them dragging across the ground.
I have several more pictures of the animals at the zoo, I'll post them sometime this week!
Tuesday, April 8
Here is Kadon, clad in an outfit of his creation, and wearing my over sized sneakers on his bare feet. At this point, he's scoping out the scene, checking to see if there are any ants in need of scaring.
This is where the actual scaring comes into play. See how his mouth is open wide in a primal yell of terrifying proportions? I'm sure the ants were positively scurrying.
This is the process of stomping on any ants that didn't scurry fast enough at the sound of his primal yell. The clomping sound accompanied by his tiny feet in my huge shoes was pretty hysterical, even if he isn't really exerting enough force to crunch anything.
This is the final inspection, checking to see if all those pesky ants are gone. I think at this point there was a little bit more yelling, just to make sure.
I'm hoping that very soon all these unwanted creatures will vacate our home. I know that we're not dirty people, and we keep our house as clean as is reasonably possible, but seeing bugs on the floor still has a way of making me want to scrub everything down.
Oh, and as a side note? In typing this story, I kept accidentally typing 'aunts' instead of 'ants'. I swear it doesn't mean anything, I love my ants dearly. Er.......my aunts.
Monday, April 7
Sunday, April 6
Currently, Brooklyn is days, possibly hours away from cutting her first tooth. I've been waiting for a long time for her to reach this point, but now that it's finally here I'm kind of sad. She was six months old on Friday, and I keep thinking about how quickly the last six months have passed by. Six months seems like such a milestone to me; it's when all the exciting things start to happen: sitting up, crawling, getting teeth, sleeping through the night, the list goes on and on. It has always seemed to me that my kids remain babies until about six months of age, and then they begin the gradual process of detaching themselves from me. I don't think I'm really ready for Brooklyn to start doing this, even while I recognize that I don't have a choice.
I'm also really excited that the scene outside my windows has finally started resembling spring. We moved here at the beginning of a long, cold winter, so I've never seen our new hometown in all it's greenery. I'm very ready for the trees to have leaves and for the grass to turn a shade of green that I had never seen before moving out here. We're planning to hit the zoo for the first of what should be many times this year, and I'm really looking forward to the trip.