Hammond Family

Moving forward, one day at a time.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Deja Vu

For the past several weeks I've been having some strong cases of Deja vu, and it all seemed to come to a head this weekend. Specifically, I've been reminded a lot lately of Emily, and of those several months before she died. I think it's for several reasons. The first is, right now Lance is the same size and the same age that Lily was when Emily got sick, the month or so before she passed away. He's is 4 months old, which was the age Lily was when Em got sick in December and then when we went home for Christmas. So Lance is doing the same things that I remember Lily doing when Emily was still here.
And Lily now is about the same size as Em was before she passed away. She's wearing the clothes Em did. So I just think of her a lot. Like the other day I took Lance and Lily running in the double jogging stroller. Lily would try to hold Lance's hand, and he would hold onto her just like Lily used to with Em. Emily would move her hands and smack Lily, and Lily would try to grab Em's hands or lick her arm. They had their own interactions, and Lily had just started to really get to know Emily, just like Lance is now really figuring out who Lily is.
Another reason for the deja vu, is Lance is very similar in development right now to Emily. He likes to roll around and play on the ground and bat at toys, just like she used to. Last night he was on the floor making very cute noises, and Robby was on the computer. Robby couldn't take it and came over and laid on the ground and played with him, just like he used to with Emily. Every night with Em he'd get down on the floor and roll around with her and growl and whistle and make her laugh.
Flying home to Washington by myself last week made me remember all the times I flew home by myself with Emily. She was always so good on the flights, and I could feed her and play and then read my book. At home I could put Lance on the floor next to my dad in the bedroom, or carry him around outside, just like I used to with Em. When I went home with just Lily, after Emily had passed away, she was older and was crawling around and stuff. But Lance is happy to be on the floor near people, and it just reminds me of Emily.
This time of year confuses me, too. In Texas the spring, summer, and fall all tend to blend together, and I have a hard time remembering what month it is. Is it August or May? October or April? Seriously. Every other place I've lived you can tell the seasons because in the fall the leaves are changing colors, winter it's cold and bare, spring there's new stuff growing, and summer is warmer and the grass is still green. Texas, it all looks the same to me. I even bought tomatoes again yesterday for a second growing season. Which I should go water. Right now.
Lily is cute with Lance, and plays with him and will try to entertain him. I try not to think about it, but it makes me so sad that Emily's not here for Lily to help and talk to and play with. I can just see her giving toys to Emily, pushing her around in the wheelchair, talking to her, giving her hugs, etc. I get teary when I see children with their brothers or sisters who have disabilities-I just think they're so lucky! Everyone always told us a brother or sister would help Emily, and the timing just didn't work out the way we had planned, which tends to be the case with lots of things. I know that Lily came when she did for a reason, and that Emily passed away when she did for a reason, but it doesn't not make it hard!
Emily would have been starting first grade this week, which is another reason for my deja vu. I know that Emily doesn't care about not starting first grade-she's much happier where she is! But I remember the 3 years we had school shopping and then going to school, and it's now just weird that I'm at home with a baby and toddler. I've gone backward. I never really had this time with Emily, because from the beginning we had therapists, doctors, etc. So to just be home with my kids is very different. I enjoy it, but I sure feel like I waste a lot of time, because I'm not on the schedule that I used to be on.
I feel very blessed to be the mom of 3 beautiful children. Last night laying in bed I could just see Emily rolling around on the ground kicking her legs and squealing and so happy, and I love the memories, but it sure hurts!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Worry Free Washington Trip

I say worry free Washington, because my dad was home from Afghanistan, so we didn't have to worry about him. And Lily was safe at home in Texas with Robby, so I didn't have to worry about her beating up her brother or getting into things she shouldn't while I was visiting home. It was just a very nice, relaxing vacation at home. Thanks to everyone who watched Lily and to Robby who encouraged me to go! I went home to see my dad-it's the first time I've been home while he's home since last August, though I saw him in March in Utah for my grandpa's funeral. He was only home for 2 weeks to have a medical procedure done, and so Robby told me to go for it and take Lance home to meet Grandpa and his cousins and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Steve.
Our first day home we went up to Mt. Baker Ski Area and Heather Meadows. This is Mount Shuksan from Picture Lake, a very famous mountain. Isn't it beautiful? I LOVE it! While we were home Mom was having her kitchen redone, so we ate every meal outside. Mom did a great job of cooking out on the grill. We all ate off of paper plates, but Dad got the real stuff :-) This was my favorite meal-Sockeye Salmon caught that morning and grilled. YUM! Doesn't get much fresher than that!

We went out to the beach quite a few times while we were home. Lance loved being outside. This was the first time that Dad had met Lance. On Sunday while we were at church Lance was on my lap and would just stare at Dad. Then when Dad would look at him he would smile and smile. It was so nice to have him get to know his grandpa a bit!
The first night home we had a cookout out at the beach. Braxton really loved Lance and always wanted to know where he was. He sang The Wheels on the Bus to him over and over, and did a pretty good job holding him. Brax is Janica's 2nd-he's 5.

Here's all the boy cousins together. This was the first time they all met.
It was really cold up at Heather Meadows, so we all got warm by the fire.

Can you tell we're up in the clouds? After this picture we drove up even higher, and couldn't see anything. Literally. You had to watch the yellow line to see where to drive. We went back down lower afterwards to have our picnic where it was a bit warmer!
It was so nice to have Mom and Dad together. Dad's now back in Afghanistan, and is planning on staying until March. He'll come home for Christmas, but that's probably it. Mom sent him back with a huge suitcase full of food. Literally. That's all that was in one of those big missionary sized suitcases. He even went back with a cooler of cheese!

Here they are with Janica's kids and Lance.

This telescope was free and you could look closer at Mt. Shuksan. Janica's boys were very excited to be in Mt. Baker National Forest because apparently there's an I Carly episode where they go to Mt. Baker National Forest to look for Bigfoot. Otherwise known in the Northwest as Sasquatch. So this man in the background was showing them the Sasquatch's tracks on the face of Mt. Shuksan. And his cave. The boys were SO excited and would say, "I see it, I see it!" The rest of us were dying laughing.

Sisters, sisters, There were never such devoted sisters...

Mom's new kitchen. It will be so fun to see it over Christmas.

I think this may be my favorite picture from the trip.
This beach is 5-10 minutes from our house. Can you see why I wouldn't mind moving back???
I love this picture, too. Grandpa with all his grandsons. There are 5 girls between Brax and Lance. It goes Ryan, Emily, Braxton, McKinnley, Akaila, Kylee, Lily, Mady, and then Lance.
Dad would give Akaila rocks to throw. Braxton is going to be football player. Hopefully for BYU so his Uncle Robby can go watch him play!

My best friend, Bekah, just had a baby, Max, and we go to see them. They live up in Canada. Max is 8 weeks old and Lance is 4 months. He's a good sized kid
Besides the obvious being with family it was so nice to be able to run where I wasn't dying from sweating so much, go be able to sleep with blankets on and no airplanes flying overhead, and to walk around outside in bare feet! Oh, to live where there's soft grass again!

Lily's Birthday

Oops, I did these in the wrong order. Here's her kitchen in it's new home. And her new table. It's provided great entertainment. I made the apron for her, and she actually wears it. I was proud of myself. Sewing anything for me is a huge accomplishment! Eating her cupcake at her new table. Happy girl!
We went out to lunch and I got Lily a milkshake. She drank the whole thing! I figured it was ok since it was her birthday.

Lily was very serious when she saw her new kitchen. It was pretty funny. She gets like that when she really likes something.
She's discovering her princess table. A friend gave it to us, and Lily LOVES it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Crazy Cousins

We went to Colorado last week to escape the heat and visit Robby's sister, Kathie and her family, who just moved near Denver. We had a great time seeing them and being able to go outside without having sweat begin to pour off you, like it did as soon as we got off the plane when we got home. Robby had Lily on the plane. She was so excited to fly! Lance did great!
I got to visit my good friend Anna, from high school. And her cute,cute boy!

Lily and C.J. I think Lily's mad I'm interupting her play time.

We went to the red rocks ampitheatre. it was quite the walk!

Up at the top.

Lance loved his Aunt Kathie and laughed and laughed.

Lily just followed these two around everwhere!

I think Lily looks more like Chloe than any other cousin.

Amy did Lily's hair. It was out by church, but cute while it lasted!

Colorado Springs and Pike's Peak

On Sunday afternoon we went to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. It's a free public park that is beautiful. There was thunder and lightening off in the distance-we got quite a show later that night. But in the evening it just made it very pretty. Our view from our hotel. You could see Pike's Peak, but I never caught it when the clouds weren't over it.
At Garden of the Gods.

Lily walked through this gap in the rocks. Robby had to help pull her through.

It started raining, just enough to make it fun!
Lance loves his bumbo chair and we were glad we had it with us!

On the train up to Pike's Peak on Monday it rained quite hard. Pike's peak is the highest most visited peak in North America. It's also what inspired the song America the Beautiful.

It's pretty cold at the top, and you get pretty light headed!

On our way back down on the train.


Our last stop on our trip to Colorado was Breckenridge. It was very last minute-we decided on Sunday that we were going there Monday, but we were so glad we did. It was beautiful and so nice to be in the mountains. It was high-9,000+ square feet, and you could really feel the altitude, but we loved it. My favorite pictures on my phone. On Tuesday morning I went running up the ski resort and it was beautiful. I was all by myself on the trail. I've got to figure out how to get the images off my phone! Our view from our room.
Along main street after dinner. I think our kids are tired!

I quite liked this skiier.

Yummy crepes. Sorry for the blurry picture.

Riding the free Gondola. We had great fun on it.
The "hike" we went on up to the alipe slide.