Thursday, March 13, 2008

Our Trip to California

We are back! I took Bethany and Shea to San Diego for a week to visit my family. As expected the plane ride with these two was miserable! Our flight to CA was delayed, but once we got there, things were fine. We had a lot of fun! My parents live on about 5 acres. The property is in the mountains in northern San Diego county. Their house is at the top of a hill. I will add a picture taken from their patio to show what it looks like. Anyway, the first day there my sister Heather and I took the kids around the property and had a nice hike. The girls love my parents dogs, so they were happy to be outside with the dogs who follow us everywhere. The next day I went to visit with my friend Cas. She has 4 kids. Her third child is only a week younger than Bethany. The kids played and I really enjoyed hanging out with Cas. We have been friends since high school, but we hardly get to see each other anymore. But she is still one of my best friends. Later that day, I saw my friend Rhianna and saw her daughter Sierra. Sierra and Bethany played together a while. The next day we went out shopping and had lunch with my Grandma at the Elephant bar and grill. We ran into Janine who is a friend with an autistic son. We agreed to get together on Monday. Then my sister Madeline flew in with her husband Tyler. I was unable to be at their wedding in November, so this was my first time meeting him. Very nice guy. That evening, Madeline and our other sister Kaytee and I went out to the mall and left the girls with my parents. It was wonderful to have a break. On Saturday we drove to Coronado and had family pictures taken on the beach. We had a lot of fun, and let Bethany and Shea play in the sand and water a bit. Sadly, Aaron was the only one missing. I so wish he could have been there. I think he would have loved playing with the kids at the beach. Then we went to Seaport Village for brunch and shopping. We took the kids on the carousel. They both really loved that. On Sunday we all went to church. Aside from Bethany laying down in the front of the church with her dress up around her waist, it was fairly uneventful. We did have kind of a funny moment though. A young girl was speaking, and after her a very tall man spoke. As he walked to the podium to speak, the electric podium was raised up high to his face level. Bethany was watching this and she yelled, "Wow! He's huge!!" Everyone was laughing. After church, my Grandma and my aunts Victoria and AnnaMarie came over to visit. It was great to see them. I have really missed spending time with them. On Monday I got together with Janine. Her son is a few years older than Bethany, so she has a bit more experience with all things pertaining to autism. She gave me a lot of great advice and useful information, and resources to help pay for all of those things not covered by insurance. That evening we had pizza with my Grandpa and aunt Anne, and Grandpa's girlfriend, Annette. I had heard that Grandpa was doing badly and in poor health, but I was not at all prepared to see the man, I remember as this big Italian man with plenty of energy and humor, as he is now. He has lost at least half of his body weight. It is obvious he cannot see anymore. He looked right past me whenever he tried to speak to me, and couldn't walk unassisted. It took 3 people to help him to and from the car. He fell asleep twice at dinner, and couldn't eat more than a few bites of food. It was very sad, especially since I live so far away, knowing I may not be back again before he passes away. My aunt Anne and I had a nice long talk after Grandpa and Annette left. Than my sister Connie and I went out for the evening. She is sad about Grandpa too. On Tuesday, early in the morning I brought Shea to bed with me to try and get her to sleep a bit longer. As the room got brighter, I was surprised that Bethany was still sleeping, so I got up and she wasn't in bed. So I went out to the living room, and kitchen and she wasn't there either. Then I noticed the front door was wide open. I ran out there, and didn't see her right away. Then I noticed something pink way down at the bottom of the property. Bethany was wearing a pink nightgown. So I ran back in and dropped Shea in my moms bed, and ran back outside to try and get to Bethany before she got to the creek. It is like dawn, and I was running barefoot down a hill that consists of dirt, rocks and tumbleweed. I finally got to her, and she was climbing down into the creek with the dogs. She was just in a nightgown and had no shoes on either. I about had a heart attack. It was scary/ But it all turned out fine, and my Dad immediately installed chains at the tops of the doors, so it wouldn't happen again, even though we were leaving the next day. Thank goodness they don't have any neighbors, to see me running down the mountain in my underwear and shirt. After that we ran a few errands, and had lunch at Souplantation, which I love. Why do I have to go to California just to find a decent salad bar! We also got together with my aunt Theresa, and the kids played at the playground by her house while her and I visited. Rhianna came over again. We had wanted to take the kids to Bates Nut Farm to see the animals and feed them, but they were pretty grouchy, so we stayed home. That night I went out with my aunt Anne for dinner. So I got out 3 times without the kids during this trip! It was great. On Tuesday, we packed up the car, and on the way to the airport, I stopped to see Grandpa again. He was sitting at the kitchen table. I was only there 10 minutes, but he was just doing so badly. He fell asleep sitting there, and had trouble breathing. I told him I love him, so at least I know he knows. The flight back, was worse than the flight out. The people in front of us were horribly rude. I just don't even want to talk about that. But now we are home. It is great to be home too.