Thursday, April 30, 2009

Children's Discovery Museum

Yesterday Molly and I went to the Children's Discovery Museum for the first time. I had been meaning to check it out forever and I'm really glad we did. I got a Family Membership which gives N, Molly, and I access. With a membership I won't feel guilty for only staying for an hour or two. This way Molly and I can swing by whenever we have some time to fill (or I need to tire her out). We got there right when it opened at 10:00 and did a quick lap before discovering the water area. Molly LOVED the water area.

An hour and an outfit change later and we headed upstairs to the 4 and under area. This was great because everything was Molly size and I didn't need to worry about her getting trampled by the various school groups that were running amok downstairs.

We didn't have a chance to explore the entire area because another mom asked her son if he was hungry and Molly's head whipped around. We headed outside for a snack and then Molly started her buh-bee (bottle) chant. We headed out and Molly sucked down her entire bottle before I had a chance to finish loading the car. I took the Bob stroller with because I wasn't sure how much walking would be needed, but I think next time a backpack with the essentials will be just fine.

(Click on any of the above pics for more)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

dim sum anyone?

Molly and I are at the Children's Discovery Museum having a little "lunch". Only in CA would you have plastic dim sum and artichokes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lazy Sunday.

Quick updates...

1. Grandpa Hickson - I spent yesterday driving to Sacramento to get his house keys, then to his house... cleaned out fridge, watered plants, packed him a bag, took out the trash, retrieved his mail, etc. He's able to sit up now.... the hospital lifts him out of bed with a special crane built to lift people in/out of chairs. He sat with his torso-brace on for 8 hours Saturday, it made him very very tired. I had dinner with a friend before dropping off his stuff... rolled out of the hospital parking lot around 11pm... got home about 1am. Long day. Long week. Heck, its been a long month. I took pics of him in bed, and the scene of the crime. Gallery updated.

2. Molly wore pigtails last week. It was super cute. Gallery updated.

3. I took Molly to the park today for over an hour.... she played in the sand. This is completely shocking. She usually hates sand.. when it gets on her hands she acts like its burning her and we must remove it immediately. Today she jumped in the sandbox, rolled around.... dug/flung sand with her hands.... and even poked it with sticks. I only had my iPhone, to take pics, but I uploaded some of those too.

Back to relaxing.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

C is for cowgirl

Molly inherited some old cowboy boots from Auntie Jenn's massive used clothes connection. When she wants to put them on it's all smiles:

However, when *I* try to get her to wear them it's nothing but tears:

I just uploaded some more pics to smug mug (click for more), but wanted to include a few more of my favorite shots from the past few weeks. This one from bath time just cracks me up:

If Nathan is still sleeping (which he usually is) Molly likes to barge in and demand a good morning hug. I swear two seconds before this one was taken she was laying on his chest giving him a big ol' hug, but she popped up the second she heard me and the camera. Still, a pretty darn cute shot:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grandpa Hickson update.

After a failed attempt to get the hard-brace on, and an MRI... the docs decided that dad needed a spinal fusion. His spinal column wasn't quite straight, so there was a little pressure on the nerves leading to his lower extremities. The MRI showed that his muscles were also strained (from the fall) and lacked the support to allow natural healing. He went into surgery today at 3pm, and its a 5 hour procedure to get the bad vertebrae out... shave it down a bit, and re-insert it within a titanium cage that will connect it to the vertebrae above and below the bad one. This added support will allow his back muscles and bone to heal without requiring him to lay flat without moving for months. He should be out of the O.R. by 8pm, and then he'll be here for another 3 days of recovery, at which time he will be transferred to a nursing home where he can rehabilitate. When he is clearly able to get around and take care of daily living requirements... he can go back to his house in the hills.

EDIT: He's out of the O.R. Everything went well. He'll be sedated overnight but should be awake in the morning.

Potty training

With all of Robert's recent success with potty training I decided it would probably be a good idea to actually purchase a little potty for Molly so she could get used to seeing it in her bathroom. I picked it up last week and N assembled it this weekend. Now she's been more interested in taking it apart and putting it back together than actually sitting on it. I don't want to push the whole potty training thing, but if she showed any interest I definitely wanted to take advantage. We have sat her on it a few times, but she gets bored after a few minutes and wants to play. This morning she was playing in the living room when she stopped and started to do a squat. I quickly took her to her bathroom and sat her down on her potty and within seconds she had pooped!

Now I think this all happened a little too quick for her to process so I'm not sure if she made the connection. Molly was more than a little surprised to see the present she had left behind. Of course her immediate reaction was to reach for it. Um, no. So I'll keep putting her on the potty and working with her on verbalizing when she is going to the bathroom. Fingers crossed this whole potty training thing doesn't turn into a battle.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lovely night for a walk

I decided to brave it and take both dogs and the stroller for an
evening walk. The dogs aren't fighting me too hard by trying to be in front of the stroller. That probably has something to do with the fact that it's still close to 90 out.

Happy Birthday Jessie!

Jessie turned one on Friday and had her birthday celebration on Saturday. N took some great pictures of the birthday girl:

And of all the other kids playing:

There are also some pics from our picnic dinner in the Rose Garden on Friday night with the Jodoins and Connally/Shipmans:

Click on any of the above pics for more.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

leave it to a Hickson...

I'll be scarce this week, as I'm in Sacramento visiting grandpa Hickson in the hospital. He had a logging accident and broke his back. There is no spinal cord injury, just the messed up L1 vertebrae, but it appears to be quite painful. We talk to the surgeon in the morning to see what the next steps are... likely a hard brace for weeks, and then see how things are doing. Off to bed to get some much needed rest now (both of us).

Friday, April 17, 2009

Charlie, inadvertent hilarity

When Molly gets up in the morning Michael leads me to the office for the cats morning scoop. Charlie is either camped out in the living room or her chair in the office. They both bellow (loudly) until they are stuffing their mouths full of food. Once Michael is done he'll usually camp outside our bedroom door where N is still sleeping. He'll bellow until someone lets him in. The bellowing stopped so I assumed N stumbled over and let him in. A few minutes later I heard the bellowing again, but it sounded just a little different. I get up, assuming Michael still wants in our bedroom, and as I come out of the living room I realize it's coming from the hallway. It was Charlie. She was stuck. Lazy cat tried to go THROUGH the kid gate and had wedged herself between the bars pretty good. Her belly was pouring around them and she had nowhere to go. I slowly inched her through and she immediately bolted behind the couch. Hopefully she won't try that again any time soon.

Tooth #12

Yesterday I decided to take a peek and see if any new teeth were about to break through. To my surprise one already had. Molly's top left molar has broken through. It's just the edge, but it's through the surface a little bit. There has be no indication whatsoever that this was going on. Phew! Her top right molar came in with such fan fare I was worried that was how it was going to be. Now we just have those pesky canines to keep an eye out for and then the second molars a little bit further down the road.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Snickers update

Looks like the cancer started in his bladder. The vet consulted with an oncologist, and they have selected the right anti-inflammatory to increase comfort. We'll head to the vet at 3pm tomorrow to do a quick rectal exam and obtain the meds. The bathroom behavior (attempting to poop when he doesn't have to go) might be fixed by the meds... might not... really depends what he's feeling, and he's a Golden Retriever, so he's not prone to showing his discomfort. Now its a waiting game. There wont be much else to say about it, until he declines significantly and needs to be put down.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

too early for a bike?

Molly and I hit the park this morning and one of the bigger kids had a tricycle that caught her eye. She wouldn't leave the thing alone and the grandfather came over and said she could try it if she liked. Well, she crawled on (I was holding it still) and inspected everything. She didn't quite grasp the concept of the pedals, but she did manage to scoot herself around a bit using her feet to push off the ground. Molly was more than a little upset when I pulled her off as the actual owner wanted to ride his bike. Once she realized he was on it she stopped crying and just stared in amazement as he pedaled around the park. I'm thinking we might have to get her one sooner rather than later.

Passing sticks through park benches

Apparently that is *the* thing to do. Playgrounds are highly overrated.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Smug Mug has been updated

I also included a link to the side (under Cool things to click) for future reference. N posted some more pics into the January, February, March - 2009 gallery and created a new one for April, May, June - 2009.

Such concentration:

Not wanting to be outdone by Miss Molly:

N also posted pics taken during our wedding trip to Kauai. Look, he has hair!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Snickers update

Snickers went in today to have an ultrasound done so they could tell the extent of the cancer. It turns out it's not cancer of the liver, but rather cancer of the bladder. They did a biopsy and took a urine sample and hope those results can tell us a little more.

The blood test on Friday did show elevated levels in the liver, but they are not in the super high dangerous zone so we should be able to administer some pain meds to keep Snicky doo comfortable. However, since he's still eating and not showing any signs of discomfort we're going to wait until we know more before deciding which pain meds to go with.

Snickers came home with a shaved belly from the ultrasound and Sadie was all sorts of interested in that. She sniffed and inspected thoroughly. The location of the tumor in the bladder does explain why Snickers has been constantly asking to go outside and why he keeps trying to go to the bathroom when he doesn't really have to go. Once we understand how the cancer started we'll have a better idea of what we can do to make him comfortable.

Snickers attitude hasn't changed and he's still the happy-go-lucky dog that we all know and love. We just need to keep an eye out and make sure he's not hiding any pain.

18 month check up

26 lbs 10 oz (75%) 34 inches tall (95%) 49 cm noggin (95%)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A very merry half birthday!

Molly is one and a half years old today. I was laying out her clothes as N gave her a bath and her little outfits crack me up. She's such a little person in her tiny jeans and new summer shoes. Although these days we've had a helluva time keeping her shoes and socks on. Good thing it's never too cold because she loves to go around barefoot. She also takes her shoes off the second she's strapped into her car seat. By the time I get the stroller and/or bags in the back I am greeted by a shoe or two in the front seat.

Molly also seems a lot taller these days. Things we thought were off limits are no longer out of reach. Actually nothing is out of reach these days as she has quickly learned to manipulate furniture to grant her access to whatever she spies and decides she must immediately inspect. I feel like I spend my day following her around and putting stuff away while telling her what's off limits... and what's really off limits.

Molly definitely likes to figure out how things work. Any new button, lever, switch or knob will catch her eye and she will fiddle with it until she figured out which ones produce the most bang for their buck. And she remembers! She will come back days/weeks later and immediately zone in on the one or two items that produce the most immediate and satisfying results.

However, as active as she can be she also enjoys her chill time. She'll be content to cuddle up next to me on the couch and half watch tv while playing with the holes in her blanket. She's also letting us read more and more of a book to her. One day we might even get through a whole one before she's offering a different book or taking off completely.

Molly continues to be a great eater. This last week or so she's been all about kidney beans of all things. She still prefers veggies to fruit, but lately has been enjoying grapes. Pasta tends to be a full contact eating experience, but she hasn't been rubbing grilled cheese in her hair as often. I'll take what I can get. In the mornings she'll usually spoon feed herself most of a yogurt before handing it to me to finish it off or making it into a finger (or hand) food experience. She rarely lets you keep a bib on her, but she's not too much of a messy eater. When she's done with something she'll quickly wipe it away or toss it on the floor. We're working on her handing it back to me when she's done, but I really have to be paying attention because I don't get much warning before it's on the floor. Not that the dogs mind.

Molly hasn't added too many words to her vocabulary, but she can definitely communicate with you what she wants. I think the fact that she's extremely patient when trying to explain what she's babbling on about helps. If you don't get what she's trying to tell you to do or what she's pointing at she'll just try again until you get it. A lot of the sounds she comes up with are hilarious so we tend to mimic them back to her which I'm afraid is just reinforcing her own made up language. We really need to be better about saying the correct word for things or she'll never learn!

Molly is definitely testing her boundaries these days. When I let the dogs out back she'll go running to the edge of the deck and stop just short of walking off the thing. She'll look back at me to make sure I'm watching and then inch forward just a little bit closer to the edge before carrying on. She knows what she can and can't get away with, but that doesn't mean she won't try again just to make sure the answer is still the same. Luckily when it comes to safety restrictions she tends to get it a lot quicker and doesn't test those boundaries as much. For example in a park she'll immediately try to wiggle loose of my hand to go explore, but in a parking lot she's holding on tight.

All in all I'd say we got pretty damn lucky!

(click here for more pics)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

M is for massage

Last night N and I dropped Molly off at my parent's place so we could have a belated birthday celebration for N. As we were walking out the door we casually mentioned that Molly hadn't napped and to have a nice evening. After her marathon 4 hour nap on Monday she really hasn't napped this week. I did get her to fall asleep on me for about an hour one day, but that's about it. I'm hoping she simply has some pent up energy after being sick and this isn't the end of nap time. *fingers crossed*

We headed up to Miyake's in Palo Alto for some sushi. After dinner we did a quick lap of Univeristy Ave and popped into the Apple Store. I'm still a little shocked we left empty handed, but really what is there left in that store for N to buy? (that's a rhetorical question people, N doesn't need any help spending money!) We then headed over to Watercourse Way for the evening.


First up was an hour in room Nine Bats (Multi-Jetted Spa, Steam & Cold Plunge). I love steam rooms. My dream house consists of a porch and a steam room/shower. The steam was heavenly with this head cold that refuses to die. After that we both headed to our one hour massages. My lady busted out some hot stones towards the end that were a very pleasant surprise. Turns out N had the same luck. I wonder if this is something all massages have now or if we just got lucky. Who cares? It was awesome!

I was in bed by 10:30 and it felt great. I did get up twice to let the dogs out, but I still slept in until 9:00 am. It was just what the doctored ordered. I feel better today than I have in the last two weeks. Not 100%, but the full night sleep definitely helped. Unfortunately my mom wasn't as lucky on the sleep front. Molly went down with very little fanfare around 7:30 pm. However, her coughing and congestion woke her up around 4:00 am. My mom propped her up on the couch and they dozed there until about 6:00 am. Bummer. I was hoping she was over her cold enough to sleep through the night for them like she always does. I'm pretty sure Granny headed back to bed after we picked up Molly and headed out to brunch.


Waiting for breakfast to be served at The Original Pancake House.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


We took Snickers into the vet over the weekend when he didn't eat his breakfast. He had been leaving food in his bowl all week and then when he wouldn't even touch breakfast we wanted to make sure nothing was wrong. After Saturday's vet visit we learned he had an enlarged spleen. They took some more blood work and we just got the news. Snickers has cancer of the liver and it has metastasized to his lungs and is in his bloodstream which makes it pretty much everywhere. We are taking him in tomorrow to test his liver function. If his liver is still functioning we can administer pain medication to make him as comfortable as possible. If his liver function has been affected too much at this point administering any sort of medication would actually speed up the process. Bottom line - not much time left. Right now our focus is to make him as comfortable as possible and to hope for as much time as we can get.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

the kitchen sink

The kitchen sink is Molly's current favorite thing.




Three excellent questions.

To Molly, the kitchen sink is a magical spot to put almost everything. See, she's just tall enough that she can push stuff over the ledge and it disappears. First, it was the dog bowls. They made a very lovely sound as they clanked and clattered their way down.

Then she started to put her toys in the sink. Not the best place for them, but they are washable for the most part so no harm, no foul.

Now it's pretty much anything she can get her hands on.

Her shoes. Her socks (into a nice water filled bowl I might add). My water bottle. She started to carry N's big heavy work boot towards the sink today. As much as I would have loved to watch her try and get that up and over the edge I knew there were still dishes piled in there from breakfast so I had to stop her.

So, the next time you come over and you think you've misplaced your keys... or your sunglasses... or really anything for that matter... you might want to check the kitchen sink. Who knows what you'll find.

More pics added

N created a gallery for January, February, and March of pictures he's taken on his camera. Some are just around the house:

Along with some from our last Tahoe trip:

I also added the recent ones from my camera:

Molly's new favorite game is hide and seek:

Click on any of the above pics to see more.


I have a 6 pound medicine ball to play with when I am sitting at my desk for long periods.... and Molly's fascination with round objects caused her to insist on carrying it. She clearly hates the fact that it is heavy, but wont leave it alone. I took it to work to prevent any further stress, and to prevent my daughter from becoming too BUFF. :)

Available in High Def as well.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Still sick

I'll admit we're both better off than we were at this time last week, but we're still not 100%. Molly's much better, but she still has a cough and a snotty nose. I'm also guessing her lovely 4 hour nap today is a clear indication all is not well. However, that nap gave me a chance to get some sleep too so I'll take it. I still feel like my head is in a vice and I've gone through so much Kleenex I should buy stock! I keep hoping I'll wake up and feel back to normal, but so far that hasn't happened. Mornings are actually the worse for me. I'm still waking up at all hours, but not as much as I have been so hopefully that means I'm heading in the right direction. All I want to do is sleep for 2 days straight, but that's not really an option so I take naps when I can get them. I did take Molly and Sadie out for a walk today, but that pretty much zapped all my energy. Here's to hoping I have more tomorrow because Molly is pretty much back to normal on the energy front.