We left the Koi pond, from the last post, and drove down to Balboa Island. I had packed a small picnic lunch for us to eat. Kathryn and I huddled together on a bench overlooking the harbor walk. It was a grey day and breezy, so we were cold. David was sitting in the wheelchair, and gave us his lap blanket. At first we refused, but when he told us he had on longies, we took him up on it! Once we were walking we were quite warm enough, and as you will see enjoyed the flowers that were planted everywhere. Kathryn pushed David in his chair, and he drew his legs up to rest the camera on and took pictures all along the way...so enjoy the scenery!
Down the "main drag" where all the shops are
Beautiful Eucalyptus trees
Pigeons looking for a handout or crumbs
Very colorful and springy shops!
We warmed up enough to have the traditional frozen bananas!
Back on the harbor walk, we enjoyed these carefully trained Wisteria blooms
Truthful messages found in the flower beds.
Hens and chicks
Beautiful blooms everywhere
interesting, artistic finds
These all turned out frosty and over exposed, but I liked the look!
We went home and enjoyed a cozy evening with a fire, stories, and time to rest and visit after a fun afternoon.
A couple weeks ago we met our friend, Kathryn, at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, to go to the Koi pond and then Balboa Island. We know Kathryn through Daniel and Heidi, but she is going to college here in Southern California and the center was a good half way place to meet up. Kathryn confirms our suspicions that there is something special about the people from Merced. She is so much fun, interesting, God minded, and has been a great friend to David during his illness. Other than visiting family or going to the doctor, this was David's first outing since last June. Yup, 9 months, mostly at home. He did very well. He found the noise of the shopping area a bit over whelming, and when we headed home after 3-4 hours he was looking a bit peaked, but overall loved getting out.
I enjoyed using our new camera to capture the observation of the Koi fish. David and Kathryn have a similar excitement and enjoyment of the beauty around them, so they were fun to watch and listen to. This pond was a huge attraction to David in his childhood. It is a bit smaller now than it was then, as I remember it having several pools, but still quite lovely. We enjoyed seeing a lot of little boys with the same sort of delight David had as a child.
These boys saw Kathryn and David attracting fish by putting their fingertip in the water, so they tried it too. They couldn't seem to understand why they didn't attract as many fish, but the one little boy would put in his finger and vigorously STIR the water lol
They even braved the stepping stones across the pond (because there was a huge dog to go pet out in the middle island). David was a bit wobbley, but made it with a little help. We did see one small boy miss the stepping stone, and plunge his foot in between the pavers, even though mom was holding tightly to the back of his overalls. I seem to remember that happening to one of mine in years past.
Next time I will share a lot of pretty scenery and flower pictures that David took on our stop on Balboa Island.
I have wanted to post so many times, but have been so tired with our many trips to the doctor, that I haven't managed to get on here and write. I even tried a couple times, but couldn't form the words. Now we are through our second round of two weeks of intensive IV, I will hop on here and get something down!
Our last break we had a bit of a distraction...he looked like this in Davids arms:
Uncle David holding his little nephew Cadence Eran (David's middle name is Aaron and Dan said the Eran is for him, as they are pronounced the same way) Cado or Nugget, as his parents call him, is about two months old here, and it was our first chance to meet him. Daniel and Heidi brought him down, stayed at my mom's house, and would come over to our house for visits. Unfortunately, Dan caught a cold and it made it's way to Heidi and David. I fought with it too, but never got completely sick. We still enjoyed the visit immensely, and snuggled a lot with the baby!
He is very expressive, and seems to be a "people person" or "party baby", as we called his dad! With grandpa, Bob. He said I would only hand the baby to him when he was crying. That isn't true, he just isn't as soft as grandma for snuggling.
Such a cute little man. He is a great mix of mom and dad. He looks the most like Heidi, in my opinion, but the brow and chin are Daniel.
Of course,it is so fun to see Daddy Daniel caring for his baby!
Here he is washing him all over, then
into "the baby hot tub!"
It is so cute to see how Cadence relaxes and really enjoys being in the water. I think he out grew this "tub" while they were visiting and will need to go up in size.
My sister, Mary took some great shots of them, this one is a fav
Meanwhile, on to an update on David and his battle with Lyme disease. He is S-L-O-W-L-Y improving! The doctor is very pleased with his progress. I see such a ways to go, but when I look at the areas he has improved in since we started IV treatment in October , it is huge. He has grown in strength, he can walk around the house, quite often operates his own wheelchair when we are out, rather than being pushed, he can tolerate touch and movement ( meaning I can HUG him now ) , his mental clarity is so much better, he can think and remember things now, and spends a lot of time researching areas of interest, he can read, listen to music and watch movies. It was too painful and too much sensory input to do so back in the early Fall. He has good days, and doesn't look so fragile anymore. Biggest area of improvement is getting the vertigo and headaches under control. He sometimes has a feeling of vertigo, but only has the huge episodes about once a month, rather than several times a week! His headaches are much lighter now too. He takes a migraine medicine every morning, and I hope the IV's have also helped to heal.
Areas that we are still dealing with and praying for. He still has a lot of pain throughout his body in his muscles and joints, he is still nauseous a lot of the time and takes meds for that 2 times a day. He needs to gain weight and muscle back, as he only weighs about 130lbs. and is over 6'1". His joints need to heal and remove excess calcium. He continues to have sleep difficulties and nightmares. He also has many days of just feeling sick.
David has finished two rounds of the intensive, stronger IV therapy, and they are now going to try 4 weeks off before another two week round. When we have the rounds we go to the doctor's office ( an hour drive each way) and stay there for 6-7 hours. They cleared out an old massage therapy room, that was being used for storage, for David to use. So, so thoughtful and kind. The day was too long for David to sit in the IV room with other patients. He can lay down and nap, or watch movies on the computer. They give him 3 different IV's during that time. I usually read, watch movies with him, and keep an eye on him, and let them know when they are needed. They put their head in to check on him, but we are in a area of the office next to the labs and business, so not in the medical area. I also go out for a walk when I can ,or run to the nearby health store when he is on his flush IV of just saline.
We are hoping that during the time off he will feel better and be able to work on his strength. The Doc wants him to get on the exercise bike again, and start to build up again slowly.
David blesses us so much. He is happy and encouraging, tells us how much he loves us and appreciates us. God is growing something big in him! One day when we were on our way to the doctor, David was really struggling with a lot of pain and great nausea. I could tell by his face and silence that he felt so bad. Suddenly he looked up and over at me and said, "Mom, God is so good!" Someone who is drawing close to God realizes that anew.
"For I will give you abundant water for your thirst and for your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children." Isaiah 44:3 TLB
Our February "snow"
An antique table cloth my great-grandmother made in the 1930's or 40's. My mom gave it to us at Christmas time.
Our neighborhood trees are ornamental pear trees. They were particularly beautiful this year! The surrounding streets were abloom with while blossoms, and they would swirl and flow around our feet as they fell from the trees. We noticed them in many other neighborhoods and cities as we drove to the doctor's office.
The contrast of the dark, almost black trunks, is striking.
We have also had several winter storms. The San Bernadino mountains are still covered in snow, and very white. I can see them from the freeway. But off of our deck we could see the local coastal mountains even had snow.
It is springtime here in California. The months of Feb., March, and April are Spring for us. The arid hills all turn green, and the wild flowers bloom. The long drive to the doctors is through some very pretty areas. There are lots of yellow blossoms, of mustard plants, daisies, and wild flowers. Second comes orange and then purple. We have a huge Marine base that is mostly all natural hills and vegetation, all along the coast, as well as a lot of lagoons that the coastal route crosses.
Freesias are blooming on my deck and sending up a delightful fragrance. I will try to put up some more posts and pictures in these next days as we are home more.
Hello to all of you! I will also try to come by and catch up, I have mostly seen posts that are linked onto FB, as I am on there every day keeping up with my kids and grandkids.
Seems to me that it might be a good idea to finish my Christmas posts before the end of January! So here goes! We have a tradition of Christmas Eve at my Mom and Jim's home. It is a beautiful time with family, and rather romantic, due to the large lovely home, filled with candlelight and people we love. My mom decorates, cooks, and plans everything to make it so special.
I have a plethora of pictures, because Mary and David were both taking pictures...and they tell the story ( these are just a sampling from hundreds). I was so happy that David was doing well for Christmas eve. The night before he had a major vertigo attack out in the living room, he could barely move. We gave him some meds, and Nick, Alicia, and Bri all prayed. He was up and eating in two hours, which was unprecedented...so thankful.
Mary knew I wanted a sweet picture with Brason, like I had with Malachi, and caught us in the late afternoon sun in front of the tree.
Brason likes to hold fingers I am HAPPY to oblige
Nick with his baby boy.
This sweet heart was the center of attention. It is so dear to see the joy of life through a little ones eyes. Malachi was so good all evening, and played with things as he opened them
My mom loves her great-grandchildren!
We start in the "ocean room" , the smallest room in the house, but with the best view of the ocean! We have champagne or sparkling cider and open stockings. Bob surprised David and I with a really nice Camera! It is a Cannon Rebel.
I have had our little point and shoot to catch photos with, but this is a new delight. I have a lot of learning to do! David jumped right in and started taking photos!
He captured the expressions so well.
Our niece, Bri
Loved the blue of the evening sky and ocean, behind this pic of Malachi opening a present.
Mary, Spence, and Bri gave David this new pullover and a zip jacket from the Volcom sample sale. The clothes tend to be long and lean, which work perfectly for David!
Yum, eating treats from the stockings. The turkey was taking a bit long to cook, so mom said to open some presents!
Loved seeing how patiently, and with such interest Malachi would open things. So cute!
Bri and David checking out the new camera. They have become much closer during his illness.
Mary calls this one "tripod legs"
Some more photos from David, he dislikes flash, so most with flash are Mary, and w/out are David.
Gently pulling out Raggedy Andy
This was a favorite present throughout the rest of the holiday. The cars went on and off the carrier with appropriate car sounds...all boy!
A rare shot of the photographer, Mary, with Camera close at hand.
I love babies, so my grandchildren are extra special!
A few more presents...and Mary's photos again
Jim and Meme open handpainted placemats that Bri made this year
We received a set too, but Bob is just happy at Bri's choice of wood grain paper....he is a wood worker.
Time for Dinner!!
Bob preparing the Turkey
Most of the gang, ready to eat!
When tired, David still uses a wheelchair, as he gets wobbly on his legs.
Grandpa Jim and Bri
At the table. My great grandmother crocheted the table cloth. My mom says she used to go to the store on her bike as her grandmother would need another skein. For Christmas I received a smaller version of this cloth, also made by my great grandmother.
David captured a few vinettes at dinner
Yes, David learned his manners from his Dad!
We had coffee and pie, then finished off the evening in the Living room.
Love this one of Nick, Alicia, and sleeping Brason
"Bookends", share the phone when Daniel calls. Heidi, Daniel, and baby Cadence just arrived home from the hospital this night.
A happy blessed night
David has continued to improve for several weeks. Walking around the house and doing some projects. He tried out the oil paints and canvases he received for Christmas, has been looking through various books, listens to music, and has had several visits with friends. He proceeded to do a lot of cleaning out in his room. He laughed when I came to the door and said, " would you STOP IT, and go lay down in bed!" He said that is something you usually don't hear from your mom!
This last week though, he has had a bad set back, he has felt very sick, and has had a lot of days with vertigo, nausea, weakness, and major pain. The doctor would like to start him on another very strong antibiotic, in the hopes it will put the Lyme into remission. It would require that David and I drive to the doctor every day M-F for two weeks on, then two weeks off. The IV has to be given where they can keep an eye on him, so I can't give it to him at home. We are not sure if he is up to these trips, as when we go on Mondays it really wipes him out. It is an hour drive each way with 2 hours at the office. This would involve 3-4 hours at the office, as well as the drive. We do so want him to feel better and be able to rebuild. Anyway, that is a little update at where we are at.
December days leading up to Christmas, and early presents!
You know it must be the holidays around our house when the puzzles come out! My husband loves jigsaw puzzles and always would work on one with his mom after Thanksgiving and Christmas. This picture was taken the day after Thanksgiving, and he is busy using the card table we had out for dinner the day before. Nick and David both seem to have inherited the puzzle gene. I will work on one for a while, but definitely don't stick with it like they do.
Sunset glow. They really are pretty in the winter.
Gluten free oatmeal scones are a favorite and sit well in David's tummy. It is hard to find goat butter of late, so I need to try using coconut oil instead.
We have had a chilly couple of months, so have been burning wood in the fireplace at night. David says the warmth feels good to his achy joints and muscles. We put the sofa cushions on the floor in front of the fireplace. We also read the first half of the Hobbit out loud, while enjoying the warmth. Then we went to see it in a local theater after the movie was released. It was a big outing for David, but he used the wheelchair and Bob piggy backed him to a good seat in the theater. He also wore a face mask to protect from germs and took a fleece blanket to stay warm, which he was good to share with me Why are theaters so cold? We did enjoy the movie! We all laughed at one point when they said "out of the frying pan and into the fire" and Bob leaned over and said, "Chapter 6!".
David started to work on getting stronger by doing exercises in bed, crawling, and standing now that the vertigo is better. He said " I am going to walk, and I know how to do it!" He hasn't been able to walk for 5 months, since mid-July. He was determined, and he did it!
Early Present #1 - David walking!
Our pastor's wife has been praying for the Lord to strengthen David for weeks before this. She said God told her that was what to pray for David at this time. We give Him all the praise!
David can walk all around the house without the walker now, and continues to startle me when he walks up next to me. He sometimes gets a bit weak or dizzy, so we are encouraging him to build up. He surprised his IV nurse at the Doctor's office before Christmas by walking across the room, she was so happy, jumped up and down and clapped her hands, and ran out into the hall looking for other staff.
My first decorations for Christmas were the door wreath and the Nativity set on the mantel.
Then it begins to feel like Christmas
We have also enjoyed this pine wreath that I bought at TJ. It has been on the coffee table and then on the dining table all season.
My sweet friend, Stephanie, treated me to a Christmas dinner with the ladies of her church. It was a blessing to be with her and her girls for dinner. The girls and one son, sang in the choir, and Dad was one of the men serving up dinner.
Pretty center pieces.
Hannah and her girl friends looked so pretty in black lace.
Stephanie and her girls, Hannah, Amanda, and Kayla
I also saw our friends Morgan and Jeri there. We all loved Morgans hair!
Morgan, and her mom, dad, and brother all came over and spent the evening with David so that Bob and I could go to our church dinner together. It was a nice date night for us with friends to visit with, singing carols, and a yummy big dinner.
We finally got our tree a couple weeks into December. It is still fresh now after New Years! The night we started to decorate we made some Pumpkin pancakes for David to eat in front of the fire
Bob helped start the lights...something David and I usually do. He kept pausing and looking at the tree. I finally asked, "what is the matter". He said, "there must be an easier way to do this, I am designing clips for the branches in my head." The engineer brain at work! I told him that he should develop those and we could sell them for $19.99 on TV I finally took over the lights, but was glad he put on the first strand as that is the hardest.
We put colored lights, gold wire ribbon, and "cranberries" laced with gold beads that I bought 25 years ago. The tree looks pretty even before the ornaments
Early Present #2
Nick, Alicia, Malachi, and Brason flew in from Colorado on the 19th of Dec. and spent Christmas here. They stayed at my mom's house, but were good to come over almost every day. Grandma alert! There will be lots of pictures of them
Our first time to hold and play with baby Brason. He is a content guy, sleep, eat, play...repeat!
Grandpa Bobe was pretty happy to play, play, play. He and Malachi made a fort under the dining table, looked at the beach and planes from the deck,
and took nails out of wood...how cute is that to see them working together?
We all took turns holding baby Brason.
Brason, at almost 4 months old, and his Daddy Nick. Brason needed his shots and checkup before going to the island and the doctor here said he should be the poster child for breast fed babies...so round and healthy.
Nick and Alicia were both pretty tired after a round of packing up to leave the country, and saying goodbye to family and friends. Nick is also working on a masters degree online, which he will be doing concurrently to med school in St. Kitts. He receives some extra scholarship $ that way, but it meant some school work to do, and a few deadlines, even over Christmas.
Malachi quickly discovered Grandpa's big bag of chips and would carry it out when he wanted some. At one point Nick told him, "you are going to turn into a chip!"
The three guys work on tying a line to a plastic bottle for Malachi. Malachi liked our recycled bottles for playing games, he also liked the firewood for blocks.
I liked having the little ones around. Malachi likes helping cook and do dishes. Don't you love his toes all curled around each other?
Something about holding a sleeping baby is very relaxing
Such an angel, I couldn't help but take his picture again and again.
Bob was able to take some hours off work in the afternoon, so he could come home and play. I know Malachi loved it. We Skyped with them today and when Nick said, "there is Gigi and Uncle David", Malachi said, "Bobe?" Bob's grandpa named is pronouced B.O. Bee, which is so cute. Though at one point, after Bob made a wise crack about some thing and I said " BOB" rather loud and drawn out, Malachi had us all laughing when he perfectly mimicked me oops. Anyway, it was cute that he wanted Bob in on the Skype call too. Now that they are 4 hours ahead of us, seeing Grandpa Bobe will most likely happen on weekends!
Bob gave Brason a hair trim one day during naptime as he had some wild wispy hairs. I was a bit concerned with how Malachi was watching...he is so smart, and imitates everything. I think mom and dad should keep the scissors hidden.
...thinking about it
The snipping motion
talking about it and thinking...hmmmm.
Early present #3
On December 21st our third Grandbaby boy was born!
Cadence Eran at 8lbs. 6oz.
Cadence and mommy, Heidi
with daddy, Daniel
Such a blessing. Looking forward to when we get to be with these dear ones! They live about 7 hours away, so it will have to be when either David or the baby can travel.