So, since the last time I posted, the following exciting and important things have happened:
- Cary turned 40, and we celebrated with a grand party on January 19th. Friends came from far and wide and we had a terrific weekend - not just the big party Saturday night, but also great visits and huge breakfasts and dinner feasts on Friday and Sunday as well. 'twas truly an EVENT.
- On January 23rd, my Dad suffered a hemhorragic stroke and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. I joined him, my mom, and my aunt Pam there for the next three days while they tested him to ensure that there was no further danger (luckily, it seems to have been a one-off event) and then further tests to determine the extent of the damage. Again, we were very fortunate: he suffered no damage to his physical abilities, no loss of memory regarding his life or relationships, no change of personality. What he did lose was his ability to read, do math, and some aphasia that effects his ability to remember the correct words for things. He's home now and making great improvements in all these areas through cognitive therapy.
- February 1st we went to Olympia for a visit with the Taylors and Eric and Miriam. We spent a fun few days with them and especially enjoyed visiting the health club pool and the new Olympia Children's Museum. Except for the part where we brought the flu with us (and then left it behind for them to enjoy - sorry guys!) it was a great visit.
- Feb 5th we drove from Olympia to Portland where I attended the Organicology conference while Conan and Cary explored the city for 5 days. The conference was good, but the boys had a lot more fun than I did; they went to the zoo, the children's museum, Powells, several parks, the farmer's market, and generally had a great time riding the streetcars and the train, not to mention the gondola!
- Back home again lastSunday night, we settled back into our regular weekday routine and Conan resumed his swimming lessons, which are going very well. He's really turning into a water baby, and loves jumping in and paddling around with his water wings on. He even puts his face in the water sometimes!
- Last night we hosted a party for Charlotte's 35th birthday, which was great fun. We even had Karaoke! Everyone took a turn, including the children: highlights included Cohen's rendition of the ABC song, Conan belting out Twinkle Twinkle, and a group effort on Down by the Bay.
So, there you have it. Eventually I'll get the pictures off the camera from our time in Portland and Olympia, and there may even be some pictures from the birthday parties. I have a lot of thoughts about Dad's stroke and the wake-up call that has been for me; it feels like I've entered a new phase of life, similar to leaving home or becoming a parent myself. It's the Age of Knowing That Your Parents Could Die, with a side order of Recognizing Your Own Mortality. I'm not ready to write that yet though, it's still percolating in my brain.
And now, as a reward to anyone who actually read all the above, here's a video of another milestone: Conan has mastered the juicer.