Part Two if this post, if anyone other than me makes it through both of them.. gold star!
2006 was another relatively quiet year. Tom was heading to his first anniversary in his job, I was still slogging away and everyone had their health. Sean’s expander went on in this year, I recall the horror I felt when the doc showed me the little wrench and told me I had to turn the thing in the expander a quarter turn for… like a month I think? All I know is both Sean and I hated it for different reasons. I felt like I was torturing him and he felt like he was being tortured.
Tom took Sean skiing for his first and last time. It took Sean actually going to realize he didn’t want to ski, I can figure that out from the comfort of my own couch. Tom did take advantage and go up again because he didn’t get a lot of skiing in when Sean was with him. He also discovered how much more painful the apres-ski stiffness is when you’re in your 40’s!
We also took another trip to Vegas, though this time the trip was just a couple trip. We had a great time but probably not in the typical Vegas way, we’re a tad more low-key. We did go see the Blue Man Group again though, we’re Blue Man Groupies.
Sean’s expander came off and the braces went on and holy cow, in a short time we could already see the difference. Although a lot of that was seeing the ginormous gaps forced into his teeth by the pallet expander close up (poor kid he looked like Cletus the slack-jawed yokel) but not only that, you could see the teeth that used to be pointing in actually move into place. It was a very good preview of the finished product and it was going to be amazing. His Ortho had said to me “This is going to change his life” and I knew now what she meant, it was going to be AMAZING when they were done and I cannot imagine what his life would have been like had we not done it. We had another snowy winter that year and our sixth Christmas together came and went and brought another year to a close.
We were planning another family type vacation but there were new laws coming into play where everyone needed a passport to fly into the US, regular ID was no longer good enough. Tom was okay his US passport was still good for another five years, so we applied for passports for the boys and I renewed mine. Problem was, everyone else and their dog was doing the exact same thing. There were insane line-ups at the passport office, line-ups that you couldn’t just get through on your lunch hour, we’re talking HOURS AND HOURS and if you mailed in your passport application there was no guarantee how long it would take to get your finished passport back. I had no choice but to go the mailed in route. Everyone working had booked off Spring Break and our plan was to fly to California but as the weeks creeped by and with no passport it looked less likely we would be flying anywhere so we started to make other plans. We decided on a road trip to California, but rather than attempt the entire way to So-Cal we would go as far the San Fran area and stay somewhere on Monterey Bay. Tom and I both started doing research and he eventually found a place called Seascape in Aptos that looked perfect. It wasn’t cheap by any means BUT we would be saving the cost of flying and it was right on the Bay and for a little more we would get an ocean view. Sold! The trip itself was wonderful and we had a lot of fun and damn the view from our condo was awesome… but road trips with kids in the back seat, no matter how old? Not so much fun. Arguments over space and the inevitable “how much longer????” can be a bit trying.
This year was also the year of Sean’s jaw surgery. The Surgeon was terrific and well thought of in his field which made us feel better about it. This would shorten the overall braces wearing of the orthodontics and ensure that his lips would meet, without it even with braces worn a longer term Sean wouldn’t have ever had his lips line up. It is a scary thing sending your baby into surgery but he was a trooper despite the first nurse not being able to get his IV in. He came through it no problem and healed lightening fast. He amazed the surgeon with the speed of his recovery and the lack of numbness to his jaw (a common side-effect) and he didn’t even require the final check-up he had done so well.
Chris turned 20 and I immediately felt old. Funny how that smacks you right in the face when you’re first-born is no longer a teenager. At 20 I was already married and a year and a half from being a parent. Cripes!!!!
It was in 2007 that I started reconnecting with friends on Facebook, it happened slowly at first and then there was a flurry of people joining probably from all the publicity it was garnering. I had just heard about it from a co-worker. It was fun to catch up, many of these people I hadn’t seen or talked to in well over 20 years. Some I found I could talk to just like we’d left it off, others… well not so much. I guess it all depends on how much you had in the first place and how you’ve changed (or haven’t) since those days. Regardless was the start of a fun time-waster.
I learned a lot of about chip cards this year.
This was a year of pain for me. I’d been having weird pains for a while and previous ultrasounds had picked up nothing but as time passed my gallbladder was slowly growing stones that would get stuck in my bile ducts. Up until then my surgeon figured those previous undiagnosed pains were from small stones migrating out but as they were small enough not to get stuck they didn’t produce the same agony as the bigger STUCK ones… the ones that caused my liver all but to explode. It took many many months and a trip to the ER with a three day stay to get them to move me up the priority list for surgery. One of my friends from work forwarded me a voice mail I had left for her after I was released and obviously on some pretty good drugs. It was hilarious to hear, I kept it for quite a while.
We had so much fun in Aptos we decided to do it again but this time, no road trip!! Tom and I in a car alone for hours is no problem! But.. nope nope, not gonna no you can’t make me… so we flew. We managed to book the exact same condo and enjoyed that exact same view. This time we got a chance to spend a bit more time in San Fran and we tried to do the Haight-Ashbury district but damn! It is hard to find parking there. Tom ended up dropping me and Sean off so I could grab a couple of pics and buy a shirt while he circled the block. Need to figure out a better way to get there next time.. maybe by bus and park elsewhere? That city is crazy for parking in but I love it so.
Oh and we got to see a “Whose Live Anyway” show starring various “Whose Line” guys at our local theatre. We had great seats and man it was funny, I was fighting off an asthma attack from laughing so hard. They’ve come back to town since but have played 19+ venues so Sean wouldn’t have been able to attend (sucks.)
I saved a stray cat I dubbed “Stripey” a gorgeous Lynx Point that I instantly fell in love with. I’m guessing she was abandoned because she was pregnant. I was pretty sure she was by the feel of her belly. She had been outside meowing at our window sensing there was someone here (she could hear me) and I went to the window to see and omg that cute face so desperate to get inside and her paws reaching for me. I thought at first maybe a neighbour had let their cat out, some do (they aren’t supposed to) and she had wandered away because she eventually walked to the front door and over to the other side of the building to the patios. I went to bed thinking she’d found her way home. Next morning I’m drinking my coffee and I hear that same plaintive meow, I look and there she is again reaching for me. What could I do? I brought her inside. I tried phoning around to the shelters to see if someone was looking for a young lynx point and someone was but it turned out after they came here… not their cat. None of the shelters I called had room for her so I reluctantly took her to the SPCA, I wanted to find a no-kill but I had no choice we couldn’t keep her, they limit pets here. I cried all the way there and home dropping her off and turns out she lost her babies but she was transferred to a no-kill shelter and eventually was adopted. I still think of her even now.
The winter of 2008 turned out to be BRUTAL and it snowed so much over Christmas that we couldn’t get to my Mum’s place to bring her over for dinner so it was just the four of us and it cleared enough the day after for us to get out to her place and deliver her leftovers and her presents. Mum was still living in her rented condo then and I was getting more and more worried over time about her living on her own.
Ah the year of the hip break, Mum’s not mine. Just that morning I was watching the early news before I got started working for the day and I saw an apartment on fire in the same area as my Mum’s. I freaked out and called her at this ungodly hour and turns out she was up and no it wasn’t her place but it was nearby and looked similar. I was relieved until a few hours later when I got a phone call with the call display reading Fraser Health and it was my Mum calling from emergency telling me they think she broke her hip when she fell at the hairdresser. This was just the start of a long hospital stay, surgery, rehab, release back to her place, to her calling 911 and back in. It was a crazy nightmare ride I don’t care to think about too much! But it all ended well with us being helped into placing her in an assisted living facility that she loves and has made many friends. I feel so much better about her not being on her own anymore.
Not alone in her breaking of bones, Cinny ended up breaking the bone she had healed so many years back, not only that but also broke the steel pin. We theorize that it may have been weakened over time as she would drum her bad leg on the wall a few times a day. The vet tried to talk us into trying a last-ditch to save her leg (it was admittedly a VERY slim chance) but we voted for amputation as hard as that was. Looking back I wish we’d gone that route the first time she shattered her leg. She took to three legs with no trouble and has been happy and pain-free for ages now. I wonder how much the pin used to bother her before.
Somewhere in here? Or was it the year before, Tom was laid-off from one place and hired at a local competitor, it was a very short lay..and he loves where he is now.
Ohh ohhh!! And the flood, don’t forget the kitchen greywater sewer backup nightmare that ruined most of the stuff in our kitchen and required our flooring to be replaced. ALL. OF. IT.
2009 brought some good stuff too though, another trip to Cali, this time though we decided to give So-Cal another visit but also try to find a place that was near a beach. After much searching we came up with a place in Newport Coast which was awesome, though not *on* the beach, nor did it have a great view, but it was NEAR the beach, walking distance and was a nice place for a home base while we did our day trips. This trip wasn’t so much about relaxing as visiting THEME PARKS! We ended up overdoing it, especially Chris who let himself dehydrate and almost pass out (I caught him and that ain’t easy!)
It also brought the launch of the project I had worked on for such a long time, a lot of blood sweat and tears went into that thing and part of me still geeks out when I use it.
All around downtown they were gearing up for the Olympics in Feb 2010. There was a buzz in the air you could feel and another thing you could feel is warmth. Not a good thing for a winter Olympics. The rooftop daffodils were blooming, it was crazy.
Christmas was Mum’s first in her wheelchair but she adjusted to it okay, She was just happy to still be able to get up and down when she needs to and can take care of some things herself.
Here we are back to the current but almost completed year but for a few more hours. It has been a year of many changes.
The flooring in our condo was replaced, then bubbled up and then after a long fight fixed and replaced again (or at least part of it).
Sean showed a real interest and talent in guitar that blew his teacher away and he got up the nerve to perform not only for students but for parents as well, first at coffee-house, then at show case. I was very proud. He even sang which he is not comfortable doing. Nice to see the kids step out of their comfort zone and grow.
It was Sean’s turn to Graduate and he did it with honours AND he won his class guitar award. He’s hit a rough patch a couple of years before and earned a verbal ass-whoopin’ from me and we were proud to see him turn it around and get back to getting good grade and doing his work. My last little chick through the public school system woohoo!
Two road trips for Tom and I, first to Cannon Beach Oregon which I’d only seen in passing a long time ago and love love loved it and then to Seattle just a few weeks to check out that cool town.. right before I was “re-orged” out of my job along with some very good friends. I am happy to say though that the friendships I’ve made are being maintained and we still all see each other, though just not on a daily basis.
There are other things that have happened over these last ten years but some things just don’t get written about here.
It has been a decade of change; some good, some bad, some spectacular. Some change I’ve had some hand in, and other change that was so freakin’ beyond my control I could do nothing to stop it no how much that drove me insane. But this decade above all else, brought together my family, the most important thing in my life. The rest of it… pales by comparison.
Happy New Year