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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hot August Highlights...

**Typo/Grammatical Error Disclaimer: I started to write this post at 4am. Bare with me.**

August has been a very busy month. This month started with my Dad's (??th) birthday get-together and ended with a dinner date with our very good friends. This post is about everything else that happened in between. It's been crazy, but I LOVE that August went by so fast. It brings us all the more closer to my favorite time of the year -- winter!

Friday 8/13/10: A Night at the AT&T Park

Niki's Ninong "P" invited John and I to attend his birthday celebration at the ballpark. My MIL and FIL graciously offered to watch all of the cubs while John and I had a much needed night of relaxation. We couldn't stay long, but John and I had a lot of fun just hanging out with family and watching some ball. John and I used to go to baseball games all the time before we had kids. I used to get free tickets for 3rd baseline seats on the AAA Club Level back in the day. The owners of the company I used to work for "owned" seats. Whenever they didn't take a client, I'd get my pick of games to attend and that my friends, was pretty awesome! Smelling garlic fries brought back some good memories. I had forgotten how much fun it is! It's a shame that a loud-mouth behind us ruined my game concentration. He kept spouting off about himself and I had to resist every urge to shove a baseball down his throat. Nevertheless, I had great time! Thanks P & T, for the invite. :)

Here are some pictures from that night. I really have to start getting permission to post pictures of people's faces. I'm sure you're all absolutely sick of just staring at ours. ;-)

Saturday 8/14/10: More Lion's Den Fun

We attended a birthday celebration for John's Uncle D in Alameda. I LOVE going to Alameda. I love everything about that house and that family. And, it was so nice kicking back in nice weather and filling my tummy with grub. It was VERY NICE to have another consecutive Saturday of chill time with the extended Lion's Den.

This house is so old that the nails are handmade. How cool is that?
I broke this doorknob the first time I met John's Dad's side on Christmas Eve 1999...
This is the chair that the elected "Santa Claus" sits in every Christmas Eve. Uncle D reads "T'was the Night Before Christmas" in this chair every year. I LOVE family traditions. :)
I'm in love with his clock. 
Everything in this house has a cool story behind it...
 Uncle D& Auntie "BB" -- They are seriously the most selfless people I know.
Later on that afternoon, John took the kids to the marina...

After Uncle D's celebration, John and I were supposed to enjoy a night out with the extended Lion's Den. Unfortunately, John was exhausted after we left Alameda. I was also feeling feeling super icky, but what's new, right? The following day, Sunday 8/15/10, I was completely out of commission. My asthma started acting up in the middle of the night and I woke up feeling like I ran a marathon. John attended his nephew JJ's Christening with the boy cubs on his own.  They spent another fun-filled day in Alameda while Niki and I laid in bed and watched movies all day. :)

Friday, August 20th : Date night with the Lion King!

I finally got my crab and fudge fix !!! Well, not together, of course! I had been craving hardcore for crab for the past 2 weeks. It took some coercing, but somehow I convinced John to agree to take me to Fisherman's Wharf to satisfy my craving. That man refuses to drive anywhere that's "too far or too tourist-y" for dinner. Aside from that, he's been on a diet since his liver test results  so he's been keeping a watchful eye on his girlish figure. (He's been running every day since the not-so-good results came in. Thank goodness his CT scan is unchanged.)

It had been months since we had a date so I really enjoyed our evening together. We had dinner at Franciscan Crab Restaurant. I annihilated some delicious crab while he indulged on a clam and shrimp skillet. Had it been bright out, we could have used the binoculars at our booth to look at Alcatraz. Yelp reviews do this place no justice.

Pictures taken by my iPhone...
Not the most appetizing looking creatures, but ooooooh so tasty on the inside!

John and I spent the rest of the evening strolling the wharf. It was a beautiful night! We went to my favorite candy store so I could grab some fudge and pistachio ice cream. I know crab, fudge, and pistachio sound like a terrible combination, but I was super satisfied. It was the perfect end to a perfect night.

Saturday, August 21st : Lions All Over the Bay - Walnut Creek/Vallejo/Hayward

John took the cubs to their very first slumber party at their godparents house in Hayward. It was their first slumber party (John insists on calling it a sleepover) and I'll admit I was a bit nervous. I know my cubs and how bad and good they can be. I was worried that someone would wet the bed or throw a tantrum, or innocently talk about family secrets and parental nether regions. John went golfing with his best friend V in Alameda while the kids hung out with their buddies in Hayward.

Pic stolen from our good friend P -- "The boys in the hood...." ;-)

Meanwhile, Niki and I went to Walnut Creek to do some shopping. I also met with my sisters and stepmama for an impromptu lunch at a random crepe place. Niki really liked my apricot and ricotta cheese crepe. :)

Pic stolen from my sister S's Facebook...

The day was completely unplanned (thanks for letting me impose, guys!) , but I had a lot of fun. Niki and I even hung out for a bit in Vallejo while I waited for the traffic to die down. It's always nice to let it all hang out with my stepmama and sisters. I feel so refreshed after I see them.

The following day (8/22), John and I went back to Hayward to pick up the cubs. We hung out for a bit with our very good friends. We arrived just in time for a good ol' fashioned water fight and the boys had a blast! Once everyone was dried off and changed, John and V went to buy food while P & D graciously filled my belly with sweets. They also helped me free my mind of "wifely stress." I only have a handful of "married w/ kids friends" so it was really nice to vent. I think making the move to the Hayward might be in our future.

This past Thursday (8/26) John and I had dinner at the Hard Knox Cafe  with our good friends T, her son Z, and our other friend GZ. (Side note: Hard Knox fried chicken is delish!) The last time I saw GZ was when Niki was 2 days old! T and I barely get to see each other so it was equally nice to see her as well. Dinner was a bit hectic. John and I were regularly interrupted by the cubs (we brought all three) throughout dinner. Nevertheless, we had oh-so-much fun juggling children in between bites of good food and good conversation. I have a lot of admiration for GZ and T.

We spent Friday evening at the airport with John's family so we could greet his grandparents after their long flight from the Philippines. BTW -- you can all thank Ate N2 for giving me another kick to get of my lazy, blogging ass. ;-) I know I've been horrible about updating this month. In fact, I'm bit behind on my HemAware posts too. Perhaps the redirection of blood flow from brain to uterus is the culprit? Diamond Tiara is sucking the life out of me, but I'm really taking the time to enjoy my pregnancy. My genetics counselor called me on Friday to let me know that the preliminary genetic tests all came back normal. Diamond is definitely a girl and she has no chromosomal abnormalities. We're hoping London will get back to us by next week with information on Diamond's FVII status.

Taken at SFO...

I spent my Saturday morning at Church for a little over 3 hours to register Kevin for CCD. It felt like he was just Baptized yesterday --January 31, 2004 happened ages ago -- and now he's going to get his 1st Communion in a few short years. Time flies by quickly people. Enjoy your babies!!! I actually felt a little bad because I should have registered him for CCD last year. However, I had no idea that you could register children as early as 1st grade. Kevin probably could have started in Kinder because he could read back then! Nevertheless, I'm chalking this up as a learning experience. At least I know better now. Besides, Kev has always been my "test subject" anyway. He's the KID that made me a pro. :)

My Church trip didn't necessarily have to be so long, but I had to step out of line for a telephone interview with an author by the name of Jolene Philo. A few months ago, NHF put out the word about an author looking to interview families for a companion book to  "A Different Dream for My Child." The book (set to be released in 2011) would provide guidance and resources for parents raising children with special needs and/or critically ill children. It's not a book specific to bleeding disorders so I didn't think I stood a chance, but nevertheless, I sent a very brief message to the author anyway. I gave very minimal information (I didn't even include my real name at first) so imagine my surprise when she contacted me for an interview!

Ethan and Niki's story is going to be published in a book ya'll!

Don't be confused though --- this book is NOT about Ethan and Niki. It will have stories and advice from other families raising children with special needs and/or families who have had to make end of life decisions for their children. However, there is something comforting about knowing that even when I die and can't share Ethan's story any longer, he'll live on in this book. Ethan's story -- along with the stories of other families and their children -- will help families facing difficult situations of their own.

I sat in my car for close to 1 1/2 hours, chatting with a woman I never met, about Ethan, Niki, and our family as a whole. We talked about religion, technology, relationships, and everything else under the sun. It was the most therapeutic 1 1/2 hours I've had in a very long time! Jolene is amazingly spiritual and insightful -- I was in absolute awe as I listened to her tell me her son's story. I felt like I was at my own private book reading. I'm really looking forward to reading snippets of the manuscript this Winter, and I'll be sure to let you all know when the book is out for purchase. :)

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