Monday, September 30, 2013

First Day of 1st Grade

On Wednesday, August 14th, the girls were up early to get ready for their first day of 1st Grade. I called to tell them to have a great first day. They said thanks. I went back to bed for a little while, but when I woke up, I had a few pictures of them before school started...



I love you girls. I am so proud of my two smart little princesses. You are growing up so fast!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Post-Summertime Fun (Part 3)

On August 9th, I had the day off (my last one with the girls), so I took the girls to Traci Aviary since I haven't been there since 5th or 6th grade.

After checking out TA and buying a few (EXPENSIVE) items in the gift shop, we drove over to get lunch at Wendy's in Sugar House. I went through the drive thru and then drove over to Sugar House Park to eat lunch and then play a little bit. After eating, we were walking over to the lake to walk around it, but we noticed a group of people ice blocking down the hill. We were watching them from the side, and then they came over and asked if the girls wanted to try it. I let them...

And then I did it while recording...

We then thanked them and then started to walk towards the lake, but it was swarming with geese, so we walked against the flow of the river that drains into the lake. They saw a playground, and started playing. Ady went down a slide-down pole twice, and then started complaining that her hand was burning. We ran to the restroom and ran it under water. We had to get home to treat it since two blisters were forming, but she didn't want to leave without water. I had to grab a bunch of toilet paper and run it under cold water. I placed it on her palm and we booked it out of there. She was in pain the entire ride home. 20 minutes later, we arrived home and I had her run in the bathroom to quickly place her hand under cold water while I grabbed medicines and aloe and ice. Got her taken care of and she took it easy watching Disney Channel while I quickly ran to pick up my mom from work.

The next day, I had the day off. But before I could go anywhere, I had to do a few chores around the house. Mow and trim the lawn, clean a section of leaves off the roof and out of the gutter and help trim branches of a tree we need to cut down. While up on the roof, the girls watched me as I was cleaning it and to make sure I wouldn't fall off the roof.

As you can see, I used a broom to sweep the leaves out, but it still looked messy. So I hopped back down, grabbed the leaf blower and went to work.

I returned home that night to find my clothes all laid out for me to wear to bed and a fresh bouquet of flowers from the girls. Thanks girls...

The next day (Sunday, 8/11), we had to drive the girls back home... BUT, we got one more night with the girls in Mesquite. So we drove down and stopped at Wendy's (again) in Beaver. Chloe made me laugh.

Then we continued on the way down south. We drove straight through St. George and arrived in Mesquite. We found a killer parking spot in the shade so the girls and my dad could sit and wait while my mom and I went in and got our rooms.

To keep cool, we went bowling and then came back to the room. The girls were starting to get hungry, so we first stopped at the wishing fountain and then over to McDonald's.

After eating and letting the girls play, we walked back to Virgin River and into the arcade. My parents met us over there and we played a long time. $30/1184 tickets later...

By the time we were done playing, it was dark outside and cooler too... Perfect time to let the girls go swimming. I didn't bring my swim suit, so I just watched them swim until my parents walked over from gaming. The girls were having a blast, so they had to put on a little show for me and my parents.

After watching them, I then told them I was going to have my parents watch the twins while I went and played my $5 free play. I only took a $10 bill with me, so I wouldn't go crazy. Went and played 4 different machines with my $10+$5. I left the last machine with a 27¢ printout slip. I'm walking away and the bonus game that plays on all the machines with casino player cards in them, starts playing... CRAP!

Wait? Where is my players card? I realized I left it in the machine I just walked away from. It let me play the bonus game, and I won $5 in free play. After taking the card out, I went to another machine to play the free $5. Another bonus game comes on shortly after while I am on that machine. I won another $5! Finished playing my first $5. Then I told it to play my new $5. I thought, "What the heck?!" So I pressed 9 lines X 10 credits. I won up to $16+. I was going to cash out, but I played 3 more spins and won an even $19! Printed my ticket and cashed out. I know it's not a lot, but when I thought I lost all I had with me tonight... Yeah! Talk about lucky!!!

Walked back to the pool to tell the girls that it was time for bed. They hopped out of the hot tub, said good night to my parents and walked back to the room we were staying in. We got ready for bed and fell asleep watching "Despicable Me".

Woke up to my mom knocking on the door at 6:30 (Pacific). She thought it was later in the morning. So I went back to bed for a while. A short while later, Chloe woke up for the day. Since I was not ready to be up, I told her to go over to my parents room. She gets dressed to go outside and walked over to their room. 5 seconds later, I hear knocking on my door. I get up and answer the door. She says, "The sign on the door says DO NOT DISTURB". I laughed and said that was for the maids, go ahead and knock. So I went back to bed for an hour and then woke up. I woke up Ady and had Chloe come back over to the room to get showered and dressed for the day. We then packed up the Murano and headed over to the Chuck Wagon Restaurant for breakfast. Had breakfast, and then headed on the road to take the girls home.

Made it back to St. George and had some paperwork (90 pages) printed up at Kinko's, then went to the bank to have them notarized to turn over to the court. But we dropped the girls off first and said our goodbyes. The three of us headed to the court house so I could file for divorce. We arrived and started to hand her the paperwork. A few minutes later, asked for certain specific papers. I could not find them anywhere in my pile. I hopped on a computer in the next room and couldn't find anything she was asking for. Told her, and she came and looked at the computer screen...................... She told me I had filled out the wrong paperwork. :(

Since there was nothing we could do, we left and had lunch. Then headed back on the road. My mom and I sat up front and talked the whole way home. Stopped in Beaver to fill up on gasoline, then stopped in Nephi to say Hi to my grandma. 45 minute later, we were back on the road and headed straight home.

And that... Was my summer with my girls.

The End (of this summer story)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Post-Summertime Fun (Part 2)

We arranged it so that the girls could come up to Salt Lake one more time for just a week before they started school on August 14th.

So on August 2nd, I worked a morning shift and got off work before I lost my cool. But I went home, packed and drove all the way down to St. George to make it just in time to pick the girls up from the "lazy river" and splash pad at the park where they were at with Kristi.

I was invited to spend the night at the girls house and then to take them up to Salt Lake the next day. I was not going to risk our lives just to make it up to SLC that night, I needed rest since it had been a long day. So dinner time was upon us, and I missed eating at Hungry Howie's Pizza. So I placed an order and then the girls and I drove over to pick it up. We sat around and ate dinner and then watched The Sandlot. But we started goofing off in the front yard and I had to take a few pictures.

But it was getting late and we called it a night. I slept okay, but got up and fed the girls breakfast. I packed up the girls clothes and by 10 we were off to head back to SLC for a week. We stopped at Wendy's in Beaver to have lunch. We ordered the same thing, except mine had sauces and lettuce on it. I accidently handed it to Chloe and she said a few minutes later, "This one has salad on it!" My bad... Ate lunch and headed back on the road up to SLC.

Arrived and took it easy since I was the one who drove. I was trying to convince them to take a nap since I wanted one since I had been driving, but no luck. But while they were waiting for me to get ready, they saw a cat sitting on the back fence, just taking it easy.

We then took Snickers on a walk around the block with my sister and her dogs. After getting home, we helped Annie set up a user account on Facebook and while I was doing that, the girls were beating up Uncle TJ.

The next day (the 4th), I had to work from 8am until 4pm, so I couldn't go to church with the girls :(  But while working, my mom brought in the girls with them still in their Sunday best. The day before, the Coke vendors put up a display along the west wall of the store. U for U of U, and a Y for BYU. I'm a Ute fan, so I had them stand in front of the U.

Before I drove down to pick up the girls, I converted the movie The Sandlot and transferred it to the computer in St. George so the girls could watch it. They LOVED it! So I was telling them that they filmed most of the movie in Salt Lake.

So on the 5th, I took the girls past the Vincent's Drug Store. It had been closed down for sometime now and the only thing that remained was the sign and empty shelves inside. So we simply drove past it. Next stop, The Sandlot. Years ago, before they made the movie, they had people audition to play the roles in the movie. My cousin Zach, tried out for the part of "Smalls". He of course didn't make the cut. But I remember my grandpa taking Zach, Char and I to the building where they held the auditions. Well, the Sandlot, is in the same neighborhood! If only I had known. But I drove the girls to the spot of where you could see the Sandlot. Since it was private property, you could not step out onto the field and take pictures.

If you look in the background of the picture, the fence they hit the Babe Ruth ball over AND the house where the "Beast" lived, are no longer there. They must have been put up for the movie or something...?

I was going to take the girls past the houses where the kids houses were filmed, but my internet on my phone was not working, so I said, Let's just go out to the Great Salt Lake to visit the Saltair. So got onto I-80 and headed west. Every 2 minutes, "How much longer?"... We finally arrived at the Saltair, but before I let them get out of the car, I up and rolling my video camera on my phone. I got Ady's reaction to the smell...

We first walked into the gift shop at the Saltair to look around. We found a couple of postcards and two little bottles to let them scoop salt water into. We bought the items and started walking towards the shore near the Saltair... a good mile away. We made it, but it was not fun walking through salty mud and the smell kept getting stronger and stronger.

I wanted them to scoop up salt water only, but they kept picking up the brine shrimp in the water. Finally, we had only water in the vials. We walked back, cleaned off our feet and headed back home. On the way home, Ady was looking in her vial and said there were things floating in there. Sure enough, it was baby-baby brine shrimp.

But when we were driving home, I asked the girls if they could see the U on the mountain. One did, the other did not. So, I got off at the 600 S exit and headed to the house that sat next to the U. I have driven up there many times before, before that house was there and even occupied. I turned around and headed back. But I stopped at the giant hill and made the girls get out so I could get a picture of them overlooking the valley.

We got back in the car and drove to my work so they could say Hi to my mom and show the vials of water and brine shrimp. We then went home, ate lunch and took it easy until everyone got home from work.

After my mom got off work, we drove over to a costume store in Holladay and bought a couple of Halloween things for the girls. They used their birthday money to pay for it.

But earlier, before I even went down to pick up the girls, I custom made a photo book on Shutterfly. I should have waited so I could have had these pictures I'm posting now, in it. But I went ahead and ordered it and had it shipped to my place, so that when the girls were here, it would arrive here so I could see the looks on their face. I kept track of the shipping and it said it had been delivered. We checked the mail already, and it wasn't there, that must mean... The front porch! Sure enough, it was there sitting waiting to be opened. I brought it in and opened it up so the girls to look through it. First thing Chloe does is get a papercut on her finger from the sharp pages. Ha! So I put a bandaid on her finger, and we spent a good 30 minutes looking at the books.

After looking through that book, and after eating dinner, the girls started to play dress up with their Halloween dress-up clothing, and wanted me to play along too... So I did. My mom had a witch cape she used years ago, but was just now sitting around collecting dust. So, the girls made me wear it and we took pictures out back.

Since the girls were going to be up here only a week, I let them snuggle and sleep in my bed the first night....... It happened every night we went to bed.

But a few day later, we took TRAX all the way uptown to check out the new City Creek center and then went over to Gateway to have lunch and to let the girls play in the fountain.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Post-Summertime Fun (Part 1)

After the girls went home, they did their thing and I did my thing. I kept in contact with them every chance I could.

I'm trying to find pictures to see what I did. Mainly, I just worked a lot and hung out. I went back to church for the first time in a long time on the 21st of July.

On the 23rd, I first got ready for work and shaved my mustache and goatee off. More than one person complained to me that I shouldn't have done that... Well, they didn't want the goatee to be gone. So, as I type this, it is growing back.

Then, I went to the post office and mailed a birthday package to the twins to have it arrive before their 6th birthday on the 26th.

On the 24th, it was Pioneer Day, and I had to close the store. I did get to see some of the fireworks that were going off while I was out grabbing carts.

Then on their birthday, I called bright and early. I used FaceTime to see the girls open their package.

I had to work that day, so I was not off in time to watch them sing happy birthday to the girls. I did get a video of it sent to my phone. They had the party early because everyone was going to take a nap, and then go see Mary Poppins at Tuacahn. But I did receive pictures of them opening gifts and having fun.

I kept working and working, and doing whatever. The girls went to church on the 28th of July, and I received photos of the girls in church.

Next up, another week with the girls up in Salt Lake...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Summertime Fun (Part Nine-- Final)

**This entry takes place from July 12th to July 13th, 2013**

Earlier in the week, I took the girls to Sketchers Outlet to pick out new shoes for their birthday gift since I would not be able to come down to Saint George to celebrate with them. So we got ready for the day, dropped my mom off and then went to pick up their shoes since I had them hold them since I did not get paid until this day.

It was about lunchtime, so I stopped at Chick fil-A to grab lunch. We ate lunch and then drove over to Megaplex at the Jordan Commons to go see Despicable Me 2.

During the movie, Chloe was chewing on her fingernail and then made it so it was a really bad hangnail on her thumb. We had to leave the movie, travel all the way to the other side of the building to find someone who had scissors, snip off the hangnail, travel all the way back to the theater and sit in seats down lower seats. We missed the major part of the movie... But we were able to figure out what was going on. But we had fun and went home to relax after.

Later in the evening, I had to go to work to close the store. While I was reconciling a till, we are supposed to put how much the till was short, zeroed or was over. Just so happened this one till was this much short...

Instantly, this came to my mind...

Not even if I tried in a million years could I get those numbers again! I watch too many kid movies.

I got home and instead of going to my bed to sleep, I got ready for be and snuggled with the girls since it was their last night in Salt Lake.

In the morning (Saturday, July 13th), the Kindred's (across the street) planned it so the girls could have breakfast with their grandkids, who were also twins (boy and a girl).

After 30 minutes, I got a text message from Rachel saying she (and Kristi) were passing Scipio. So I went over and took a few pictures of the kids having fun and talked with Pat and Curt.

About 10 minutes after I took the group photo, Rachel arrived. She backed the truck up into the driveway and I loaded up the girls suitcases, bikes, scooters and other stuff they brought up here. When we loaded everything up in the truck, and buckled them in, Chloe (who is always the strong one) started crying because she was going to miss me. We said a little prayer and said our goodbyes.

I went inside and teared up and then cried for a minute. Not as bad as in early May, but I was going to miss them!

The girls and I got to spend 47 days together this summer, and this is their accomplishments and all the fun they had while up here with my family and I...

Thanks to my parents and family for helping with them, because this has been the best summer of my life!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Goodbye Snickers

She was technically a Christmas gift for my brother in 2003... But she became my best friend.

My parents purchased a Yorkie puppy right before Christmas in 2003. She was a gift to my brother TJ that year. I remember when we were all gathered as a family at my grandparents house for Christmas Eve, and my aunt brought her down the stairs so my brother could meet her. We fed her some milk on a plate and then had to send her back to her momma a few minutes later.

In January of 2004, we finally got to bring her to our house to keep. I remember the pee pads and the toys. And then she started to grow. If there were no pictures of her of when she was little, I wouldn't have remembered exactly how small she really was. And I'm pretty sure that it was mom who came up with the name Snickers.

But we house broke her when it came time to potty training her, but now came the fun part: Teaching her tricks and commands. My parents signed her up for classes at Willow Creek Pet Center. The only thing I remember is that she was very picky... She would not lay down or roll over on the cement floor. We had to bring a towel for her to do those tricks. Ha!

Time went on, and I seemed to be the one to take her driving with me when I went cruising on State Street with Tristyn in my Neon. Oh the fun and adventures we had.

I noticed at bedtime, she would start sleeping in my bedroom with me. I would sleep with one leg straight, and the other arched... She would sleep between them.

In 2004, my parents, brother and I took a weeks vacation out to San Francisco, CA. My best friend Tristyn baby sat the entire time. This is how I found her when we got back... 

2004 became 2005. 2005 became 2006....

In September of 2006, I got married. In October, I finally moved down to St. George. On the morning I was to leave SLC for good, I remember crying and saying goodbye to her.

Every time we came up to visit, Snickers was always the first one to greet us at the door. When you rang the doorbell, of course she was going to be the first one... Barking and tail just a wagging. She would want to sleep in the same room with us, even if she was on the other side of me or between my legs.

The girls were born and we still came up to visit when we could. Snickers always greeted us first.

2006/07 jumped all the way into 2013.

Well, you know the rest of my story of moving up here, but it took a couple days (since I had been gone so long) for her to come back to snuggling up to me. After one month, we were going on walks and hanging out all the time. The girls came up in May and all of us (the girls, Snickers and I) had a blast hanging out.

September arrived, and she started having issues. She started throwing up in the house and stopped eating and drinking. My parents took her into the vet, and she still seemed okay. The next day, she didn't seem she wanted to do anything or to stop laying around. We took her in and had blood work done. The next day, they called back saying her kidney and pancreas levels were very high. She could spend the night to have an IV in her, to see how she does... But if her kidneys are failing, there is no way to know how much longer she would last.

So we had a family meeting and said that we don't want to have her suffer and be in any more pain. So we called the vet and made an appointment at 8:30am to take her in to say goodbye.

I had to work last night, but as I was finishing up counting the safe, my dad called and said "It's as if she is waiting for you". So I was done anyways, and booked out of there. I drove home crying and have been with her ever since.

Right now, it's1AM. Snickers and I are in the TV room and she in laying next to all her toys. She is breathing heavily as if she just went on a jog... But she can't catch her breath.

I'm not leaving her side...

It's now 6AM, and she is laying on my bed and is still just hanging in there. I've been waking up every hour to check on her. She is trying to get up to walk around, but she is just so weak, she takes a couple of staggered steps and just stops and looks around very confused. Just a couple more hours girl...

We just took her too the vet. We said our Goodbyes and it was over just like that...

I'm so sorry girl, that you had to go through this out of very short notice. But please remember, you have always been my BEST FRIEND since the very beginning. I'm so sorry I got married and wasn't around to play with you. Thank you for becoming the friend I need since I arrived back in SLC in March, and THANK YOU for being my buddy I cried to since the news I received in April. I will miss taking you for our Half-Time Utah Jazz walks. I will especially miss you watching me the entire time while I try to go potty. Adelyn, Chloe and I will miss greeting our friend "Smiles" (our nickname to her) every time she greeted us at the garage/mudroom door. Please watch over us from Doggy Heaven. We will always love you and we will all miss you... Goodbye.