Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Getting Stuff Done

I woke up at 1am this morning with a migraine. Actually... I fell asleep while watching something on my laptop sometime after 8 last night and woke up at 10pm-ish. I got back to sleep again until just after midnight, woke up again and took a potty break, made sure the cats were set for the night and then went back to sleep. The next time I woke up was 1 am and that's when the headache started but it didn't turn to pure evil until around 5am. I tried doing my normal morning routine (fail). I tried going back to sleep but the cat kept doing a welfare check on me every time I would start to drift off. He knew I was slacking on my normal routine. OCD Cat strikes again. I started my Italian lesson but it was really hard reading with only one eye. The other eye was busy being drilled into by tiny evil hobbits who were building a fort in my brain. At least that's what it felt like. My stomach was empty or this would have been a vomitous migraine episode. The pain I can handle. The dizziness and nausea make life suck huge lemons. I went BACK to sleep around 7am and slept until almost nine, which is unheard of for me. Lots of accumulated sleep time... hardly any continuous, restorative sleep. My life.

Cosy's mom sent me the picture of her on the left Sunday morning. Notable moment because she actually kept the bow on her head. She's learning to accessorize. Those big eyes plus pacifier remind me of her Uncle Cody. I tried to find a picture of Cody with his paci and I couldn't. He had huge Precious Moments eyes for the longest time. This was the closest I could find. This is from his third birthday. We had a Cowboys and Indians themed birthday party.

She also looks a lot like her dad. He didn't take a pacifier. Cody is the only one of my boys who did for any length of time. And Cody was every bit as much attached to his pacifier holder as she is. She rubs the silky tag on the paci holder whenever she's sleepy or upset. He had three paci strings because he had to have three pacis - one for his mouth and one for each hand. Here's a comparison of Cosette and her dad:

This was the Nutcracker in 1999, I think, which would have made Austin five in that picture. It might have even been 2000, which would make him six. He was an itty bitty boy. Austin and Cody were both tiny.

Austin and I  had some business to take care of this morning at the lawyer's office. I was going to put it off because ... headache... but after my extra sleep, I felt better. I thought... all we have to do is drop off some paperwork, let's go ahead and knock that out. We got there and it just happened that we were able to go through that list of questions with the lawyer and his assistant. It just worked out that we could get a lot MORE out of the way and since it was Austin's last day of vacation I thought... GET 'R' DUN... and so we did. So we saw it as far as we could which felt hugely productive, especially after my sleep-a-thon/lazy lie in.

Then I was like... what the heck... let's go ahead and make a Walmart run. I so deeply despise Walmart, not for Walmart itself but just the amount of walking involved, etc. I know, they have those little carts but the way you sit on those things is h-e-double hockey sticks on my back and hips. Walking is easier and it's not easy. Ultimately, though, more things off the "to do" list are "to done" so it was worth it.

With Austin on vacation from the grocery store, I was running out of groceries. Our meal arrangements are weird, I guess, but not weird for us because it's what works. I buy groceries, my parents buy groceries and Austin buys groceries. Pretty much I do my own breakfast and lunch, most of the time, and all of my snacks. Sometimes my parents will bring me down some grits and eggs or eggs and bacon, or whatever they've had for breakfast. Not everyday. I usually have yogurt and fruit or oatmeal or cereal or something like that for breakfast. Austin doesn't eat breakfast. For lunch... honestly... a lot of the time I don't think about it and when I do it's more like a snack than a meal. Austin eats lunch at work. My parents usually do leftovers or... just whatever is easy. For dinner we eat an "organized" meal about probably 1/2 to 2/3 of the time. My dad cooks sometimes. We get take out food sometimes, sometimes Pop picks up something, sometimes I pick up something, sometimes we order a pizza... it just depends. Sometimes we do our own individual thing. Like I say, it's weird that we don't have organized meals more often but we all have such different appetites and nutritional requirements. I don't hate cooking but the physical process of cooking is difficult for me. If I cook I'm usually in too much pain to enjoy what I'm eating. I keep a stash of frozen meals and soup and easy to assemble things... baked potatoes or steamed shrimp or salads. At any rate... since I hadn't been picking Austin up from work, I hadn't picked up any groceries lately.

Cosy's "fancy shoes"
I'm not a fan of the big Super Walmart but I am a fan of Autumn! They had all kind of Fall flavored stuff out. I bought Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, Pecan Pie flavored M&Ms and Pumpkin Pie flavored Chapstick. I told Austin I was going to do a blog post of all things Fall flavored and he said, "You need to do a before and after for the house". Oh. Yeah. That is a good idea. I should do that now that we've made so many changes to the house. I'm mostly just a "lifestyle" blogger in that I write about my life. Some people do blogs that are themed on things like fashion or... food... or... I don't know. I just write about whatever is on my mind at the time. I'm always open to suggestions, though because obviously, in my mind Pumpkin Spice Everything is an interesting blog topic. #notcreative

Fuzzy slippers because every Princess needs some
I bought Cosy some shoes while we were at Walmart. I wanted her to have some shoes to wear with dresses. Not the super fancy black patent leather Mary Janes, necessarily... just something a bit fancier than her tennis shoes. I think I found something that will be sort of in the middle. We'll have to see how she does with them. She's still pretty new at walking. I also bought her some fuzzy slippers because ... how cute are they???? They are the smallest size they come in and I think they're still a tiny bit too big but we'll see. Keeping tags on everything until after we see her on Thursday. And we will, of course, let her take her shoes home with her if mom wants to use them.

Austin dragged me out of the shoe department before I went totally nuts.

Anyways... we were back home before noon and the headache has mostly stayed away since then although it's hiding in the shadows. I've been catching up on the Italian lesson I slept through this morning and watching YouTube and just basking the in glow of my accomplishments today. Tomorrow is (hopefully) a rest day, other than picking Austin up from work and then it's Thursday again!

And I guess that completes the Tuesday edition of my blog. Hope you're all well...love and hugs!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ragioni Per Amare Lunedi - Reasons to Love Monday

Starting the week with another cheese from THIS KID! Love him so much! 
Monday happened all over again this week. Not an ugly - staff meeting first thing in the morning Monday like I used to have. Just another very chill day of trying to stay ahead of the things that hurt and keeping the cats happy. That's what I do.

Do you have recurring dreams? I have this dream where I've forgotten to call in sick to work - for three years. The weird thing... it's never that I've forgotten to call in to the place where I most recently worked. I've forgotten to call in to Life of Georgia, where I worked from 1986-1997. And my old boss Alice, (who ironically attends the church where my family goes UP HERE and whose sister-in-law is my good buddy) is wondering where I am. I'm sure it's because Alice's sister-in-law so very kindly bequeathed me a huge stash of embroidery thread and kits just last week and I keep thinking about combining that inventory with my current inventory. It will be loads of fun. A big job, but loads of fun.

And I am still giggling because this same friend called me last Thursday evening because her internet was down and she was dying to know how things went with our visit with Cosette. It makes you realize how interested people are in this continuing saga that is lived out in this blog / my Facebook / my Instagram. I hope my kids and grandkids look back to this without cringing too much when I'm dead and gone in whatever way people are accessing the internet... like we attempt to translate hieroglyphics. (Did I spell that right?) It's not the whole story, kids, but it's a lot of it. The best stuff dies with me.

Mondays don't hurt in the same way they used to but God knows they still hurt. I'm surviving by catching up on a lot of YouTube videos that I've missed while being hyper-focused/obsessed with the Olympics. I've just made myself my second jumbo iced tea of the day and indulged in a freshly picked fig. I've been watching this one particular fig for the past few days, just waiting for it to reach it's peak ripeness. It was a perfect Monday fig. And you know for sure you don't have a life when you have time to watch figs ripen. The fig bush is literally right outside my door. I can see it from my recliner almost.

It turns out that the YouTube visit to North Korea that I have been watching has sparked quite a bit of controversy. I have watched many videos today explaining why it was wrong for Louis Cole - of the YouTube Channel "Fun For Louis" - to be a "propaganda arm of the North Korean government". I can see why some might say that. I'm an armchair anthropologist so I found his videos to be incredibly interesting. I watched the videos with the perception that his tour group was only allowed a very controlled perspective of North Korea. It would be naive to think otherwise. I guess the target YouTube market didn't come of age during the Cold War and doesn't have the same skepticism my generation does. I don't take anything out of North Korea as factual any more than I would something coming out of Syria. Or China. That... plus my intensive study on the Korean Conflict courtesy of M*A*S*H reruns makes me an expert, right? It was clear that the people were unable to speak freely. The children were all terribly thin. There were no advertisements anywhere. There wasn't running water in on of the hotels where they stayed. I found what wasn't said spoke more loudly than what was.

In other bizarre news... Austin just got a notice in the mail today that he is to serve Jury Duty the week that mediation is scheduled for Cosette. I think he is just expected to serve the one day but we're taking it to his lawyer for clarification and to see what we should do. I think it would be fascinating to serve. I've only been called once and I sat at the courthouse for a few hours and was dismissed. When I (semi) forced him to register to vote, I told him they would probably never call him up for Jury Duty. So there you go... Mom's wrong again. It's with the same judge that is handling the custody case so I'm pretty sure they're not going to want him to serve but we'll sort that out. Much paperwork to be handled tomorrow anyways.

What else can I tell you about today? I'm doing a new course on memrise.com right now. The courses I've taken up until now you had to type out the entire word or phrase which leads to a lot of errors when I do reviews because I either spell the word wrong or have a typo. I'm taking a course now that is strictly multiple choice and I'm flying through it. I wish life was all multiple choice! If you narrow it down to four choices, I'm probably going to get it right. It made me think very literally about how when things aren't as easy as you want them to be, you should probably change your course. That's my new philosophy in life - both things - make like multiple choice AND if you don't like how things are going, change your course. I may even embroider that onto a pillow... with my new stash of embroidery thread! Yay!

Actually... I'm struggling with sewing because my shoulder is so wrecked. I really need to have it more carefully looked at. I love my pain doctor but he pretty much either wants to inject it, send me to physical therapy or let the pain meds I'm already on take care of it. I want the darn thing to work, as in diagnose it and then make it all better. It's my left shoulder and I'm left-handed so gosh-darnit, it needs to work. Today is all about the left shoulder and right hip not cooperating. There's a list of things in my body that I've got to fix, like getting new glasses and finishing up the dental work. I'm pretty much a "one major stress at a time" kind of girl and we've had other things to manage this year. There was mom's cancer, then the evil gut pain/hysterectomy, then there was the whole custody thing... now we're back to mom again. I've got to just start multi-tasking better. Then I multi-task and hate myself for it because it exhausts me.

Also, not sure that anyone cares, but I've changed shampoo. I've been strictly a Garnier girl forever but I thought it would be fun to change back to that Aussie stuff. No reason. Not unhappy with my hair, other than the fact that post-hysterectomy is just like post-partum... I'm pulling out hand fulls of hair every day. I have a ton to spare so it's working out so far... if you start seeing me wearing turbans, you'll know why. I think I've shed enough hair this Summer that you could clone me, if anyone's interested.

I guess that's about all I can possibly share about Monday, at least this go-round. Hope that even if you started with a staff meeting... or realized that you forgot to call in sick... that you still managed to find ragioni per amari lunedi (REASONS TO LOVE MONDAY!). Love and hugs!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Middle Ground

I feel like I've observed - from a distance - two of the most dramatic opposite emotions possible in the past day or so.

The highest of joys when the Brazilian Men's Soccer team won the gold medal for the first time ever while hosting the Olympics... to watch the stadium full of passionate Brazilian soccer fans erupt in cheers when the tense shoot out ended the game was one of those Olympic moments I'll always remember.

And the saddest possible experience, the loss of a child, by a family south of Atlanta whose 18 year old daughter was killed in a nine car auto accident yesterday. So many of my Facebook friends have kids who went to school with this obviously well loved girl and/or were friends with her parents. I cannot wrap my mind around that kind of loss and my heart breaks for them.

I have a friend who lost a son in a car accident about two years ago... the father killed himself a year later, unable to move on from the grief. I don't even want to try to understand what that must be like. I always think about that dad when I see that a parent has had to bury a child. There are so many reasons that I haven't pushed Austin to drive before he is ready. That father is one of the reasons.

Another long time blogger friend has a grown daughter who has suffered one medical trial after another. She's very sick again and I can - only to a degree - understand the daughter's frustration because I know what it's like to be in a body that doesn't allow you to live the life you want to live. I can also, to some degree, understand what it's like to watch your child suffer through the most unfair of circumstances. A parent is only as happy as their saddest child.

Today has alternated between bright sunshine and pouring rain. The last week has alternated between the intense stress of going to court followed by the absolute delight of seeing my son reunited with his little girl. I feel like I've been on an adrenaline pump for the past two months... but yesterday and today have been peaceful. I'm learning to appreciate even a few hours of peace in a row lately. To me it's so much easier to just get along. That doesn't mean laying down and accepting whatever someone does to you. It's just about being appreciative when you find an olive branch.

Austin's week off from work has felt like a vacation of my own, even though we've had many details to take care of. This morning we had breakfast in a restaurant for the second time in the past few days. That's extreme for me... I'm not sure I've been in a restaurant twice in the same month in a long time, much less twice in a week. Both times it's just felt good to see him be happy. The food hasn't mattered at all.

I don't sleep in my bed because of my back. Most of the time it's just where my clean clothes wait to be folded and put away. There were ants all over it this week so I folded a lot of clothes after aggressively waving them around trying to knock the ants off. Aggravating but... it would be worse if there were ants where I sleep, right?

I'm really a very peaceable person. I don't like conflict. As much as I appreciate the huge, mountaintop experiences, I'm usually pretty content just hanging out in the valley. Just don't try to bury me in a pit somewhere. Give me middle of the road, gray, fair to partly cloudy every single day and I'm really sort of ok with that.

I'm not sure if this blog makes any sense at all. I hope you're finding your own middle ground right now... but if you're sinking low, hang in there. Rock bottom just gives you a chance to begin your return climb. Happy Weekend-end. Love and hugs, y'all!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Things I've Enjoyed Lately...

Life has been a bit... shall we say, "high stress?" lately but it hasn't been all bad. I thought I would share with you a few of the things I've enjoyed lately... kind of the low-rent version of Oprah's Favorite Things.

Those dresses I posted from Zulily last week... here's a picture in case you forgot. I bought two more for myself and one for my mom. I'm wearing the three dresses in rotation lately. They are so soft and comfy! The price is amazing. The neckline is perfect - no peek-a-boo cleavage - the length is conservative. I love this style! They're actually "tunics" not dresses but when you're my height, you can make a dress out of a cropped top, sometimes... and long pants out of capris...

Dried cherries. My dad worked the food giveaway that our church does monthly. It's for low income people and there's no cost. You just sign up and go through the program (pretending I know the details, I don't really). He came home with these dried cherries leftover from the giveaway this morning and I absolutely love them. Addiction level love them. And they're in a virtually unmarked bag. There's some fine print so I'm going to be hunting down that manufacturer.

The Olympics. In the past 24 hours I've watched handball, some kind equestrian thing, a triathalon, soccer, basketball, rhythm gymnastics, badminton, synchronized swimming, volleyball... probably other stuff that I'm forgetting. I'm ok with it ending but I've maximized my viewing this time and I've learned a few things (that I will probably forget before the next Olympics). It was a happy distraction while it lasted.

Lipton Berry Tea in k-cups. I brew it, let it cool and then put it over ice. It is really refreshing... sort of a sangria-ish taste. I still love the hot chai tea first thing in the morning but for my "all day long" drinking, it's this berry iced tea lately.

Oliver. The faces he makes on Facetime are adorable! He could really be a baby model or actor because all you have to do is make the face you want him to make and he imitates you. His eyelashes are a mile long and he's so precious!

Fresh figs. I get about one or two a day that ripen. They're fabulous!

My text / facebook message / comment buddies. Usually texting it's Austin or Cody. Facebook messages it's a blog reader who shares my disdain for certain things and my enjoyment of others. This blog doesn't get a lot of comments but the ones I get are more precious than diamonds to me! Some here, some on Facebook... they really make my day more days than you might imagine!

Beauty and the Beast. A community production is being put together and they just held auditions. My sweet little Jamie is going to be in it, along with my "extra" niece Jorjanne. And the role of Belle is being played by a young lady I absolutely adore, the daughter of a friend! I don't sit through much but I'm going to this show, there is no doubt!

Carters.com. Baby clothes. More specifically, shopping for baby clothes. I wanted to get a few Fall things for Oliver and we needed some backup clothes for Cosette for her time with us. Carters prices are low, their quality is great and I can always find discount codes and ways to get free shipping. I bought a four pack of long sleeved onesies for Oliver along with a nice button up dress shirt for him and also a long sleeved glow in the dark skeleton shirt. For Cosy I bought a dress with matching cardigan, a pair of yoga pants (which will be adorable with her long legs), a romper to get us through the last of the warm weather and a three piece set that has a Winter pattern. It includes a short sleeved onesie that says, "I melt my daddy's heart" and a long sleeved onesie with a snowflake print and little pants that have a penguin on the bum. Austin's spirit animal is the penguin. If you've ever seen him walk you would understand why. Anyways... all of those... a dozen or so pieces for my babies... for about $50, including free shipping! And I didn't have to leave the house. I also like the secondary thrill that comes from buying things online. You have the pleasure of browsing and finding treasures... and then you order... and about the time you forget how much you liked what you ordered... BOOM!... right there in your mailbox! (Incidentally, I'm not being paid to tell you how much I like zulily or Carters).

iCloud. My nephew in New York wins for most photogenic chubby ginger baby boy ever (at least since his dad was a chubby ginger baby) and his mom posts the pictures of him on iCloud all the time! About the time I'm feeling frustrated or bummed or... whatever... I get an alert that there's a new photo on iCloud. I feel like we already know his personality. And in between we get pictures of Oliver doing something amazing that his parents post in his iCloud folder. There is the most amazing video of Oliver going around in circles. If I could forward it, I would post it for you. Just imagine mini-drunk-human going in circles with a little bit of a lean... every now and then he stops and steadies himself. I have watched them over and over (there are two).

Now it's time for one of my all time favorite things I've enjoyed for quite some time now... my Luigi's Italian Ice... mango flavor. I have two about this time every night while I'm getting settled in. Hope you're having a great weekend and I will blog at you again soon! Love and hugs, y'all!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Cosette Day / Photo Dump

First moments with dad after 1,338 hours apart
Thank you so much for your interest / prayers / encouragement regarding our journey to reuniting Austin and Cosette! I will say that the tension continued right up to the moment we were able to take her with us but we just pressed on and held fast.

There's some discrepancy regarding the concept of "co-parenting". One parent feels like it gives them some magical power like, "abra-ca-dabra!" if they use the word "co-parenting" they can make any demand and it should be fulfilled. That's not quite how it works. So we had continual discussion up until the moment we were able to have Cosy about how Austin's day-long visit with his daughter would go. She had never been away from her mom, really, to my knowledge. Frequently when they lived with us Mom would be upstairs and Cosy would be downstairs in my living room for extended periods of time. We know she left her with me one time when she rode with Pop to pick up Austin from work. And we know that she had left her during court on Monday. Beyond that... we don't know. So I can appreciate that mom had some apprehension. We were concerned that Cosy might be anxious as well.

< ---- First moments together... visiting daddy's work

Mom wanted us to bring Cosy back midday so that she could nurse before her nap. We felt strongly that was a bad idea for several reasons. First and foremost it doubled the potential for anxiety for Cosette in leaving her mom. She would have to separate from her twice in a day not just once. That seemed risky, especially not knowing how Cosette would react. Secondly... it just didn't make sense to nurse her to sleep and then try to put her in the carseat and take her out of the carseat when we transitioned her back to Austin's custody to finish her nap. She doesn't sleep that deeply where she can be moved around and still stay asleep. Going without a nap all day would definitely make for an unhappy baby and we didn't want that to happen. And lastly, it was an interruption in Austin's visitation which... he gets nine hours a week right now... so interrupting that wasn't fair to Austin or Cosy. It's also important to note that the Judge felt that Cosette could spend nine uninterrupted hours with Austin and that's what's in the temporary custody order.

The thing about co-parenting is that both parents have input. The parent who has the child in custody at the moment the decision has to be made is the one who has to make the final judgement about her welfare. Since Austin felt strongly that taking her back to nurse midday was not a good decision for Cosette, that's what we did. (And... spoiler alert... he had no problem getting her to sleep. He had done it many times before and was confident in his ability to do so.) So on the way to pick her up we had to deal with the tension about that decision.




(above photos are at breakfast... she didn't eat the big roll, but she thought it was really funny to hold it!)
Mom was helpful enough to provide us with a diaper bag with a change of clothes, tylenol, diapers and wipes. Really clothes were the only thing we didn't have in abundance for her. She also provided a helpful list of favorite foods and new habits that we might not have been aware of. She also gave us a list of requests... things like wanting us to contact her every hour with updates, giving her a list of times that diapers were changed, providing her with details of what she ate and when. As a mom, I can see the reason for some of those things. I understand her anxiety. We opted not to provide hourly updates. We did provide periodic updates and of course, I think it makes sense for her to know what she's eaten, especially if we had introduced something new or different and it caused a reaction. That's the give and take that needs some work. Austin would never dream of asking to know what Cosette is doing every single hour of every day that she's in her mom's custody. We have to assume that mom is making the right decisions for her and... she has to make the same assumption. In my opinion we should provide consumable products like diapers and food but I don't think it's necessary for Cosette to have two separate wardrobes. We have a few outfits for her but we don't have any warm weather clothing for her and yesterday was hot. We appreciated having an option of a cool outfit to put her into (as she spilled water on her little dress). We sent her home with different socks because the ones she had on got wet (spilled water) and we trust that mom would return those in the same way we returned the non consumable items she sent. To me that's just what you do. We also sent her home with a toy that she particularly enjoyed playing with as we had two and ultimately... she enjoyed it so much that we wanted her to have access to it. Again, that's just what makes the most sense for Cosette.

We all arrived at the pick up spot early but mom wouldn't allow us to have her until 9am straight up. When we brought her back we got there about five minutes early and immediately gave her back because it was the right thing to do. Her mom missed her and was eager to see her and we weren't going to deny her immediate access. We had worried (been told, actually) that Cosette had no idea who Austin was and couldn't tell him from any other "stranger". Not true. She saw him while were in that "waiting until 9am" time frame and she immediately pointed and smiled and then looked confused that he didn't come get her. This was the same look on her face she had in the courtroom a month ago. She knows her dad. At nine a.m. - after nearly two months of desperately missing his baby - Austin was finally allowed to take her into his arms. I thought I might cry but I was trying to be really focused and make sure we had a clean break without Cosy getting upset to I held it together.

For about the first half hour or so she was really quiet to the extent that I was afraid she had some regression in language. She never cried but she was obviously confused. We took her to Ingles so dad could show her off to his co-workers and so we could pick up some tylenol for our own use if she needed it. While we were in Ingles she smiled and had fun but was still really quiet.


Then we drove into Helen to have breakfast at Hofer House. < --  link in case you want to see where we went. It's a favorite of mine and Austin's and we felt like it would give us some privacy as it's more of a tourist spot than a place the locals go. Cosy started warming up when we got seated. She was excited to have a menu of her own, she had fun playing with our phones and she kept pulling my headband out of my hair (this is something she has done in the past). She was smiling and giggling but still not really talking and then Austin did something silly - put my headband on, I think - and she said, "DADDY!" like she was saying, "oh, daddy, you're being silly!". We both immediately teared up. She knows her daddy. He's not just "some stranger" that she randomly smiled at. From that point on she was the same baby we've always known. She enjoyed her breakfast, she behaved really well and we just really enjoyed being with her. There was a gay couple sitting beside us and they just adored her. We were chatting and they said, "she is such a happy baby!" Which made us really proud.

< --- She loves this big Cat in the Hat book

We had thought about going to some other places, like maybe Babyland General but we decided that it was probably best to just surround her with things that were familiar to her. We went home and she was so happy to see Mawmaw and the cats and "oof" the dog. She went right to her toys and we just let her have at it. We watched Sofia the First and The Cat in the Hat, shows that she's used to watching with me. Her dad kept her down in my living room all day because his room is on the top floor and you just can't keep it cool enough when the weather is as warm as it is right now.

She started getting sleepy before 1pm. Her dad laid down with her on the daybed in my living room (that has an ottoman right beside it so if she rolled off she would only have about 12 inches to drop) and it took him less than two minutes to get her to sleep. He fell asleep too and they slept for over an hour. I sat and stared at them because ... you know... feeling all the mom/nana feels.

My mom had to go to the doctor in Braselton (about an hour away) so they had to leave Oscar with us. Oscar can sometimes be snappish and he is very attached to me when Mawmaw and Pop are gone. It got a little complicated at that point because I wanted to play with Cosy and Cosy wanted to play with me but we had to make sure Oscar behaved himself. Mom's doctor found more "spots" that are potentially cancer. It's worrisome, to say the least, especially that they came back so quickly. She has further testing done at the end of this month.

Right before time for us to head home Cosy started feeling a bit warm to me. Her mom said she has been teething - she has 8 teeth now! - and has needed tylenol so we gave her a dose before we headed out to take her to her mama, just in case. We had been down in my living room which is always the coolest part of the house and had kept her in just a little camisole onesie but she had been climbing up and down the stairs with her dad so she may have just been warm from that. Either way... we took her back... the exchange was mostly without incident. I texted back and forth with mom giving details of her tylenol dosage and what she had eaten. Exchange of necessary information is no problem to me. I'm chatty and enjoy giving details. I especially enjoy talking about my grandbabies.  It's been made an issue that I've been the one inquiring about her and I think during this time of transition, we need to just do whatever works. It matters most that we're on the same page and that everyone who is taking care of Cosy knows what's going on. I know some custody issues where all communication has to be done through lawyers. I don't want that to be Cosy's life.

So... all in all... we felt like yesterday went very well. I was so relieved that she didn't have any anxiety. She never cried. Never seemed to have any anxiety at all. In fact, she seemed really relieved to be with her daddy. She did give a little whimper when he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and was gone for about five minutes (also to take the dog to the bathroom). I showed her where daddy was and told her he'd be right back and she got back to playing.

We still have to go through mediation and get the final custody agreement approved by the judge. This is where it gets down to the nitty gritty / rules for living for the next 17 years. There's a long way to go in getting to a healthy co-parenting relationship that involves adequate communication without harassment. Parenting separately takes a lot more work than parenting together. You have to parent instinctively and not worry about what complaint the other parent might have about how you do things. You have to trust that the other parent is doing their best and has the best interest of the child at heart. I hope that mom, in her nine hours away from Cosy yesterday understood a fraction of what it has been like for Austin to be away from Cosy for 1,338 hours - almost 150 times the length of time. If there was anxiety in not knowing for even a single hour what was happening in Cosy's life... imagine what Austin has gone through. The fact that his communication style is different does not mean he didn't suffer. It has impacted him greatly. Today I am tired but I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I hope that this initial success leads to a spirit of better cooperation.

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Thank you again for your kindness and concern. I am so grateful for the support... it makes a huge difference. At times when we wanted to give up, your encouragement kept us in the fight. Happy Friday, happy weekend, love and hugs, y'all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Migraine. Day 2. Dot. Dot. Dot.

Maybe I shouldn't call it a migraine. It's a really bad headache that is getting worse as the day progresses. It's now around 6pm and I just feel like someone punched me in the face. It was a semi-undemanding day other than having um... heated discussions... with... strong opinions regarding Austin's budgeting. You just want your kids to not make the same mistakes you did. There's that fine line between "offering suggestions" and "being controlling" and apparently I'm not on the right side. My headache got worse after that. It also got worse after our trip to the bank to retrieve necessary documents because it was so oppressively hot and humid outside. I. Hate. Summer. Except for figs. Other than figs, I will suffer any other season but Summer.

New paragraph. I woke up slightly before 5 this morning but I feel like I slept for a long stretch of time so it felt ok. We had some really unbelievable drama last night that involved filing a police report but I can't go into details because... you can understand why that sort of thing would need to be kept private. It was like... you get to the edge of what you might expect someone to do and they go so far past that line and do things that are so unbelievably... wrong... immature... I don't even know how to explain it without telling the whole story. I will just say that we were so grateful for the nice female officer who came out and understood our situation and was incredibly kind and reassuring.  There were things that were just too coincidental to be coincidence. Stuff that only certain people could know. You don't want to sound bitter or suspicious or ... whatever... but you just know that things couldn't happen like they happened without someone intending harm. The officer agreed and that helped reassure us.

I have always really clung to the Bible verse that says that "all things work together for good" and even in moments that are frustrating and heartbreaking I can see... I can see how He can use that for good and I'm at peace with that. I will say that you did get punch shy. Always wonder were the next hit is coming from. Wonder at what point your lawyer will charge you the "pain in the rear" surcharge. But just keep holding on to doing what is pure and right and just and... document the heck out of things. It's a long road and I am tired. And I have a headache which makes everything so much harder.

I love our small town so much, though. People see Austin all the time and remember him and they're just so kind to him. The lady at the bank today, for instance... and that's so reassuring. I've always said that you should live your life in such a way that if anyone says anything bad about you no one else will believe it. I'm not saying my kid is a saint. He is exasperatingly very much NOT. Sometimes his perception needs adjustment. But his heart is so pure. He just doesn't have any meanness in him. Bitterness at times, you betcha. Resentment by the truckload. But he's not malicious or mean. He works hard. He's steadfast and has shown so much inner strength this Summer. I don't know many grown men who would stand up through what he has been through and still keep going. And people notice. People ask about him, telling him things that have been said. I

I'm just gonna pat myself on the back here for a minute. I think I've earned it. And... then I'll give our prayer warriors a pat on the back because they've worked overtime here lately. Keep it up. Tomorrow is going to be a memorable day and I'm just praying that it's memorable for all the right reasons. All good things... My mom got one of those "the doctor needs to see you tomorrow" calls today so she'll be dealing with that. We'll be dog-sitting while loving on baby girl. She'll be happy because she LOVES Ooof. She doesn't have any idea that Ooof is anything other than her best friend.

And since I am falling asleep on the keyboard I will close here. Sorry it's short. Hopefully I'll have lots of good things to share tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

News Day Tuesday

OLD PHOTO... hope I still have the magic touch when it comes to nap time! 
My Tuesday started at 3:30am with a migraine. It's stuck with me all day... fades a bit while the advil is at its' peak... comes back a few hours later. Fortunately it's been a quiet day so I've been able to just sit and let it rage. This is the worst migraine since my surgery. Not loving that they're making a comeback. 

In the news today... I'm not watching the news. I am just so over it. Maintaining mostly Olympic coverage on my tv and finding it much less stressful than the 24 hour news cycle. I will admit to being just the slightest bit bored with it. Not a lot. But I've definitely maximized my Olympic viewing this time, even with the loss of satellite for a few days. 

It's hot here. Hot and muggy. Autumn can't get here soon enough. Bring on the pumpkin spice!

I still can't find my brush. Did I mention that I lost my hairbrush? I've had the same one forever and somehow yesterday it disappeared. I ordered a new one on Amazon this morning. I've been wanting to try the ones that are good at getting tangles out. I don't really usually have tangles but my niece Jamie does. If it works on her head, I'll buy a few more. I keep my hair either brushed out or pulled up, even though it looks like a wild mess sometimes. I brushed my hair with the cat brush today. They didn't mind sharing. 

I had Special K with strawberries for breakfast. The Sorrento snack thing... it's like cheese, dried fruit and nuts... for lunch. Carrots and hummus this afternoon and there is spaghetti on the stove for dinner. Headache pretty much = no appetite but I have to keep something on my stomach to keep from getting sick. Drinking chai tea over ice. It's quite nice. 

On the baby front things have been quiet today. We're just looking forward to Thursday and preparing for whatever happens. Baby clothes washed with baby detergent, found her sippy cup, that sort of thing. I think our best bet is to surround her with things that she's familiar with. I've been looking at old photos and videos again. I had a hard time with that before... just too much emotion involved. I have missed seeing her sweet face. 

I think I've mentioned that I've been watching a Youtube series on a visit to North Korea. I'm about five episodes into now and I'm finding it really compelling. My only knowledge about Korea comes from watching reruns of M*A*S*H. Of course, you know that these tours into North Korea are full of propaganda but it's still very interesting. They are being posted on a channel called Fun For Louis. Here's the link if you'd like to watch. I find the tour guide, Miss Kim, so interesting... as the week progresses she goes from being very stiff and formal to really letting her guard down. You can't help but wonder if she's going to get in trouble for fraternizing with Westerners or if that's the angle she's trained to go for. Really, I highly recommend watching it. It's got a lot of the typical YouTube-y young male perspective as far as skateboarding and rapping and stuff but not so much that it's unwatchable. 

I guess that's about all that's blog-worthy in my Nest today. Hope your week has gotten off to a good start! Thanks for stopping by! Love and hugs, y'all!