Sunday, June 29, 2008

Things that happen at 2:00 am

Is it ever good news when your phone rings at 2:00 am?

Thursday night, at 2:00 am, my phone rang. It was my mom telling us they had just gotten "the call" from the hospital saying my Grandma Johnson was dying. Right now. What? Grandma had just gone to a routine doctor's appointment on Monday, and they had admitted her to the hospital that same day and diagnosed her with lung cancer. But, so quickly? This just couldn't be happening.

So, off we drove into the night. I kept thinking, as we were driving, that I didn't get to say goodbye. I had been trying to get to the hospital to see her, to give her a hug, to tell her I love her, but it never seemed to be a good time for me to go. So, I hadn't made it yet. My mom and I had been planning on going in the morning. But now, it was going to be too late. This was a woman, who, for the past 32 years of my life, has not forgotten one birthday - not one. Grandma Johnson was interested in every little detail of my life, wanted to hear it all, loved to get pictures and letters in the mail, cared so much about me. She had lived in Yuma, Arizona, until my parents moved her up here about a month ago so she could be closer to family. Grandma was smart, quick, finicky, fiesty, spunky, and man, don't you mess with her unless you want an earful! Was this really happening?

I got into the car with my parents to make the drive to the hospital. I just wanted to see her one last time, and I knew this was it. When we walked into the hospital room, I didn't recognize her. I thought we had walked into the wrong room. There was this old, frail woman laying in the bed. Her eyes were closed and she was trying so hard to breathe that her whole body was rising and falling with each breath. Her mouth was open and you could hear the fluid filling her lungs as she struggled to take each breath in and out.

My mom went around to one side of her bed and my dad and I stayed on the other. We took her hands. We told her it was okay to let go, hoping that she could hear us. I just sat and watched her face, thinking, "Is this how it ends?" So unreal. We were just sitting there, watching her die. It felt so wrong. I wanted to stop it. I wanted to call a doctor in to try to save her. But this is what she wanted. Her silver hair was thin and wispy, her hands spotted with age, a big, ugly bruise around her IV line. We all prayed, and for one of the very few times in my life, I
watched my dad cry. This was his mom, the one who gave him life, and she was dying before his eyes.

I think it was too much for my dad - he wanted to go downstairs and get some coffee. So I went with him to the little cafe and we got coffee and sat at a table. I couldn't help but keep thinking about the old, old woman just upstairs whom we were so intimately connected to, breathing her last few breaths while we sat drinking our coffee. When we came back to the room, her body was still there, but she was gone. She had passed at 4:45 am. My uncle and aunt were there, everyone was crying silently, standing over her bed. It didn't feel real. I kept looking down at her, waiting for her to wake up but then reminding myself again that she was not going to.

I guess it still hasn't really hit me. My birthday is in a few days, and I keep thinking I'm going to get a card from Grandma Johnson, because I ALWAYS get a card from Grandma Johnson. I've gotten 32 birthday cards from Grandma Johnson. I just wish I would have known that last year's would be the last.

Emily Ruth Johnson, 93, formerly of Yuma, passed away on June 27, 2008, in Portland, Oregon. She is preceded in death by her first husband, Edward Morris, of California, and her second husband, Harvey Johnson, of Somerton, Arizona. Emily Ruth is survived by her sons, Charles Morris, of Portland, Oregon, John Morris, of Bend, Oregon, and Allen Johnson, of Kent, Washington. Also surviving are 4 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Emily Ruth was a watercolor, pastel, ceramic, and leather craft artist. She was also keenly interested in gardening, politics, and archaeology.In the 1940's and 1950's, Emily Ruth and her first husband were avid hunters and fishermen, spending much of their time in the Yosemite and King's canyon areas in the High Sierra mountains of California. With her second husband, Emily Ruth traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, and lived in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, and the Canary Islands, as well as Alaska, Arizona, California, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Louisiana.In her elder years, Emily Ruth was involved in the Arizona Historical Society in Yuma, Arizona, where she lived for many years. She had only lived in Portland for about a month preceding her death. Emily Ruth was a devoted mother and grandmother and was greatly loved by her family.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Conversations with a 2 year old

Christine: "Tell Blake you're sorry for stepping on his toy."
Charlie: "No, I not say sorry, Aunt Kisteen. I not sorry."
Me: "When I say it's time for bed, you need to say, 'Okay, mommy.' "
Me again: "It's time for bed, Charlie."
Charlie: "Okay NOT, mommy."
Charlie, his upper lip raw from a bad cold: "Take it away, mommy."
Me: "Take what away, Charlie?"
Charlie, crying pitifully: "Take da hurt away, mommy."
Charlie (naming only 3 of the 4 people in the room): "Mommy's a kitty, Oma's a kitty, and Charlie's a kitty."
Me, referring to my grandmother who had just scolded him harshly: "Well, what about grandma? Isn't she a kitty, too?"
Charlie: "No, she's a lion, ROAR!"
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Blue Lake Splash Park

It was a BEAUTIFUL day today, so we decided to try out the Blue Lake Splash Park.
I'm being super lazy and just sending you over to Christine's blog to see pics from today:
Charlie actually got a little wet - normally he's a big chicken and won't play. It was a lot of fun to watch him running around with the other kids and just having fun in the water. :)
Christine, let's do it again soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Okay, I take that back. I am now a HUGE BOSTON FAN! :)
What a game!!!


So, maybe it's a little premature since there's still 8 minutes left in the game - but I just have to say...
It's not so much that I'm really a huge Boston fan, I just can't STAND the Lakers. Sorry if that offends even more people than the poo pictures did!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Gone fishin'

Warning: This post contains graphic photos of poo.

I love our son, more than I could possibly express. He is truly wonderful in every way. Just about the perfect little 2-year-old.
- BUT -

Look at how BIG that sucker is!
And do you KNOW how hard it is the fish poo out of a bathtub with a pitcher? It's slippery and it evades capture like a real pro.

This time I was sure I was safe because he had just pooped RIGHT BEFORE I put him in the tub.
Guess he wasn't done, huh?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


One conversation Charlie and I tend to have multiple times each day revolves around him getting "boogies" (tears and snot) when he cries. He doesn't like having "boogies", so I try and remind him that if he didn't cry so much, he wouldn't have the "boogie" problem. But yesterday, I was outsmarted. The source of the "boogies" came full-circle, right back to me.
Charlie, crying and whining loudly: "I got boogies, mommy!"
Me, matter-of-factly: "Well, that's because you're crying."
Charlie, equally matter-of-factly: "Well, dat's because you won't give me what I want."
Yikes, time to come up with some new strategies.

Cousin Blake came over for a playdate a few days ago. Charlie showed Blake all the places to get into trouble around here.
They started off with some coloring and "orange crackers".
Here is my OCD son lining his crackers up in a perfect little row (where does he come up with this stuff??? ...okay, don't answer that)

Throwing balls into the kitchen, apparently trying to break something - amazingly, nothing was broken.

Playing in the tent

We put the tent out on the back porch and threw a bunch of pillows in there - that was a big hit

Dinner in the tent - chicken nuggets and ketchup.
(Lesson learned - don't throw pillows into a tent that contains ketchup)

Playing "haircut" - a favorite lately

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Tonight, after singing our last song before bed, Charlie looks up at me and whispers two questions, very seriously:
"Why did the sheep habs (have) a toy?"
"How did the house gets a chinogget (chicken nugget)?"

I was looking through pictures tonight and found some old goodies that made me smile.

One of the most amazing (and most exhausted) moments of my life

Snuggling with daddy (at the hospital, this was right after Charlie was born)

This is the "3 month" size outfit Shawn had to go home to get for Charlie since none of the "newborn" size stuff would fit him!

Finally home

Was he really that small once?

I love my guys

Going for a walk

This picture makes me laugh - my sister (hi, Mel) hand-made this outfit for Charlie and he was such a chub that it never really fit him quite right!

I think he was about 2 months old here

He was such a little chubba!

Really unhappy about something, or maybe just tired of me taking pictures all the time...

Look at that little tongue!

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Yet another zoo post

At the risk of repeating myself...we went to the zoo again! I guess we don't have too much variety when it comes to getting out of the house, do we? Oh well, 2-year-olds aren't big fans of variety anyways, I suppose. :)

This time we went with Uncle Mike, Aunt Maryann, and cousins Jasmine and Eli.

Charlie, Shawn and Jasmine putting pennies in the little "money-taker-thingy" that makes the coins spin around and around before dropping into the little hole at the bottom. Jasmine brought pennies for Eli and Charlie from her very own piggy bank. Isn't she sweet? :)
Charlie and daddy crawling through a tunnel:
Jasmine and Charlie
All three of 'em.
(This is the best "group shot" I could manage between a 4, 3, and 2 year's just one big constant WIGGLE)

Charlie and daddy checking out a goat:

Random picture of 2 goats rubbing their heads on a broomstick that the goat-keeper-guy INSISTED I take a shot of...okay...
(If anyone can tell me what's so cool or amazing about this, please do! I'm telling you, I was ORDERED to take this picture!)

I like this shot better, goats sure are funny little creatures:

Here's a video of the goats in the barn playing "King of the Hill"

Oh wait, I lied earlier, here's a shot of all three kids that you can actually see their faces/profiles in:

PS: Look at that poor little orangutan behind the glass - she was either super depressed or completely bored, she just sat like that the whole time. Made me want to smuggle her out in our stroller and take her home with us. Okay, well, not really, but I felt bad.

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