Monday, January 27, 2014

In Loving Memory

Midnight Larsen
October 2013- January 26, 2014
It's rather shocking how tightly this fluffy rodent tugged on all of our heartstrings over the past month.  So cliche, but it truly feels like much longer.  Perhaps that's because Ellie and Erik had been wishing for a furry pet for quite some time, and this is literally the only thing they wanted for Christmas.  

Christmas was celebrated in Minnesota so with the traveling, they knew we'd have to wait and buy the pet in Oklahoma.  So instead, Erik asked for a guinea pig calendar from Santa and Ellie a bag of hay and pellet food, and they were ecstatic.  Woo hoo, pellets--  Santa reigns supreme!  Except this year Kyle and I outdid him.  Their final gift was a small box containing a clue that led them on a wild scavenger hunt throughout the house, old-school Goodwin-style. 

The surprise and elation on Erik's face and joy in Ellie's demeanor when they discovered Midnight for the first time, and named her immediately, was simply perfect.  They've cared for her meticulously, ne'er complaining about how frequently the cage must be cleaned.  They couldn't get enough of her and thankfully Midnight loved to snuggle.  Erik literally believed that Midnight was cuter than Millie (pshaw!) and claimed he loved them exactly the same.  I kind of hope that wasn't actually true, but I get it.  Kids' hearts are so big that they can't quite distinguish between love of pets and love of any other family member.  

And I can't quite distinguish right now between my kids' pain and my own.

I'm glad Kyle was home with them and I was out during Midnight's final moments.  I am haunted even by the thought of that experience.  I stayed mostly strong while the kids were conscious, but after the last tuckings had been tucked into bed, I retreated to my room and bawled.  Through my choking sobs Kyle assured me that it wasn't my fault, but I knew better.  

The guilt is overwhelming.  I knew she was sick, that something was not right.  When we realized she hadn't eaten all day last Monday evening, we arranged to rush her to the pet ER.  It was our only option given our extra early am departure for New York the next morning.  As we grabbed shoes and jackets, though, she inexplicably started eating, drinking, and happily squeaking.  We breathed a sigh of relief and have been watching her with concern ever since.  

Kyle and I came home late Thursday night and, though Midnight was nibbling here and there, she remained oddly lethargic.  Our original research indicated that if she indeed had a respiratory infection, it would be fatal if untreated.  In retrospect, it's so clear that we should have swallowed the cost and taken her in.  We just didn't, though.  We thought she was doing better, or at least not getting worse.  

Now it's so clear I should have hand-fed her more fruits and veggies to boost her immune system, nestled a warm water bottle up to her to keep her warm, snuggled her more.  True, taking her to the vet would've cost four times more than we paid for her, but the cost of not taking her in, we're discovering, is much greater.  I feel foolish and selfish for not taking the time and thought to do what it took to make her well.

True, I've never been much of an animal-lover, but I've always been a softie when it comes to suffering, and now I see that Midnight was truly suffering.  She was just a baby, and such a sweet, affectionate little thing.  Guinea pigs are quite social and loyal and I do believe she already cared for us as we cared for her.  And then we betrayed her.  We let her die.  The kids couldn't have known better, but I should have.

Perhaps when the guilt subsides a bit I'll be comforted by happy memories of the short period of her life in which she was robust and carefree.  I'll be content then to entertain visions of heavenly reunions.  Yes, she was just a rodent and for only a short time.  But she was somehow more than that, too.  To Ellie she was.  To Erik she was.  Even to Charlie and Amelia she was.  And my heart can never be far from theirs.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wanna know what we did this week?

Got stuck in Chicago.

Persisted in a manner that would make Ma Goodwin proud until we landed ourselves on a flight to New York, blizzard and all.

Statue of Liberty- woot woot!  Yup, that's the best shot we got.

And here's the feeble proof that I was there at the Hudson River.  The majority of evidence of our trip to NYC resides snugly on Kyle's phone.   Even the sights of the Big Apple failed to lure my fingers out of woolen mittens for photo snapping.  Polar vortex, people!   

Upon arriving home, we promptly attempted to potty train Ming.  Actually, we dusted off the potty and handed responsibilities over to Char.  After forcing liquids on the poor girl and throwing her bag of m&ms around, both he and his baby sis lost interest.  Four wet pairs of panties later, I gave up my dream of potty training Millie without having to do anything at all.  Such a shame when laziness doesn't pay. =)   

Monday, January 13, 2014


Guess what? I finally got rid of my flip phone (which, for the record, I actually loved and would've kept if it were up to me) since Kyle went all-out and gifted me a little something fancy for Christmas and I can take pictures on my new phone!  Also I can reliably receive text messages and people say they can actually understand what I'm saying now, so that'll be nice.  Our camera's been busted for a long while, so this new developments means I'm one step closer to actually documenting our doings so they can be recorded here!  Just one step, though, folks.  I still didn't manage to dig my phone out at the zoo today.  That's why I bring along nice, responsible friends who take pictures of my kids.  

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Let's see, where was I?...

Oh yes, the blog.  I have faint memories of blogging.  Somewhere in the midst of parenting, gardening, homeschooling, traveling, trying to make friends, overdoing holiday celebrations, church callings, and an obsessive following of The Amazing Race, this sorely neglected little blog has collected an embarrassing amount of dust.

But it's January so, for a time, I'm invigorated and committed to reinstating this little corner of my world.  I'm quite out-of-practice now (writing feels so awkward!) so I won't dare call this a comeback, but it remains a coming back of feeble sorts.

And all I can offer this evening is an old (and I mean old!) unfinished draft of Ellie's.  I'm not feeling ambitious enough to narrate the past year, but a few photos at least serve as evidence that time has elapsed, right?  I think we've got snippets below of everything from Thanksgiving 2012 to Easter to the May tornado in Moore to Minnesota in June.  That'll do, Pig, that'll do.

oh yes the russian dolls, sometimes my mom lets us play with them.only sometimes,beacouse the littlest one is very very very tiny. its about the size of a crumb. one time when i played with them the biggest one would have a baby right when it was born and again and again and so on. and then a wolf came and they kept putting there baby,s in there stomach,s until it got to the biggest one.

oh yah we went to the greek festaval ,we ate greek food,in a greek church. wached two dances that mabie were greek to. then we got free ballon hats yay.
charlie the ninja, ya no wonder he sometimes
calls himself lots of room for sords to, he has a cabnet [that nobody uses] to himself.he named it his stuff, charlies stuff is a popular name in our family. when we clean up any random toys that don,t have a place lots of times it goes in charlies stuff. and he doesen,t care whats in his stuff.
oh ya my dads side of the family, my grandparents payed for us to go to a way asome hotel. with a asome brekfast  bufft  a asome huge pool with two asome water slides one was like a playground slide ,the other one you go through a short tube then you go in a wirlpool, go around it then go through a tube to exit and sometimes the wirlpool makes you go down the tube bakwards!

amielieas baby, yes she use to to love it . but ever since she became intrested in owls she abandoned her baby.