My People

My People
My People - Cosette, Austin, Oliver, Cody, me & Ryan. Just think, had I not lived, these people wouldn't be on the planet. They are my whole heart!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Random Thursday Things

I've had a different kind of headache this week - an ice pick headache. It literally feels like there is a spike in my brain. I think it's sinus related because when the sudafed is working, the headache eases up. It's just been weird.

Cosy watching Mawmaw suck up the water... while chewing on a big spoon
We had a lot of rain this week and once again we had water in the basement yesterday. My mom and dad were both here (and healthy) and did a lot more of the sopping up than I did this time. I'm so grateful, even for the rain and the flood. It's a great reminder that I'm not alone in this world, that my family is willing to pitch in and help keep me above water, both figuratively and literally. Plans are underway for a renovation to divert the water... this may be our last cleanup. Maybe.

Part of the renovation includes adding one of those Acorn stair lifts from the Whine Cellar to the main floor. I'm grateful but it's humbling to admit that I need it. It's not cheap and I can still climb the stairs - not easily or often but I can - so I protested. A lot. My mom is the one who navigates the stairs most of the time so it will help her a lot too... but it's a big old reminder that my back is not going to get better.

Yesterday I made a big grocery trip and had a moment in the drink section where my left leg was just not working. It was weak and felt heavy and numb and my back hurt so bad that I was shaking. I kept dropping things. I was afraid I was going to have to send Tasha to get me one of those little scooters to finish my shopping trip. But I pushed on and made it through. Scared me, though.

Ollie in his playpen
(Cody sent this to me while I was shopping and I haven't
asked permission to share this one so I hope it's ok. )
He's just too durn cute!
We were at the store to pick Austin up from work and it was time to stock up on groceries. I had not left the house since Friday and I was out of "living" food - produce, protein sources, juice. Tasha also wanted to pick a few things up. Backstory/tangent: I can't see to drive at night and literally panic when I have to drive at night. On Wednesdays Pop is at church and Tasha's parents are at church so I'm the designated driver to pick up Austin from work. (Anybody want to teach Austin to drive? My back can't handle it.) It gets dark here about half an hour after Austin gets off work so as long as we leave the store right after he gets off, the light is bright enough for me to see to drive. Twice Tasha and Cosette have come with me and we've shopped while waiting for him to get off and both times we didn't time our shopping right and ended up leaving after he had gotten off work and it was ALMOST dark before we got home. I told her that she was banned from Austin pick up (jokingly, of course). Yesterday we got the timing right but we both ended buying so much stuff that it was a struggle to get it all in the car (with Pop's golf clubs in the trunk). I told her it was her third strike and she's banned from pick up until further notice.

Although... I really like shopping with Cosette. She is so freaking adorable and is used to getting attention from strangers so she smiles and waves and chatters. I was at the deli with her last night and the deli ladies were all admiring her. One of the ladies said, "she's Austin's little girl... you know, Austin in the meat department..." She's famous at Ingles, folks. I got into a long conversation with a customer at the deli and the deli workers. I broke out the phone to show pictures of Ollie, too. I'm that grandmother.

Blurry because of light and motion
Cosette in her new "big girl" nightgown
right before bed last night
I've posted some videos of Cosette on Facebook this week. I've got her with Sarabeth and Jamie and then one of her trying to walk in her new shoes. She looks like a mini-drunk-human with her shoes. It's like she thinks they're magic shoes, if she just stomps and points them in the right direction they'll take her there. It's like watching a colt. She still hasn't tried to crawl but she will scoot on her bum sitting up which is also funny to watch. Where Ollie is strong and solid she is floppy and frail. She looks like one of those inflatable flailing tube men.

I AM LOVING my new keurig machine that Cody gave me! I'm sticking to one cup a day while I do my Italian lesson. So far it hasn't affected my tachycardia so I'm happy.

I am also loving and ironically ADDICTED to Nurse Jackie. It's edgy with profanity and adult situations but it's a train wreck that you can't turn away from. I'm on Season 4.

I guess that's all for today. Be sure to like/love/hate this on Facebook. I love the new emojis! Hope you have a great day! Love and hugs, y'all!














Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Raising Cosette - Life In A Multi-Generational Household

When we first began to discuss the possibility of Austin and Tasha moving in here with us... I had reservations. We were going through a time of uncertainty with my mom's cancer. I was dealing with a lot of pain and exhaustion from trying to do the things that my mom would normally do for me. There's a dynamic of guilt that comes, even with grown kids... when they do things that makes them more difficult to live with... like leaving dishes in the sink or leaving any mess... or being too loud or... anything. Sure, the flip side is always the pride that comes from seeing my kids act unselfishly and with compassion to help out around the house... but the guilt is a real struggle. Also, as an introvert, every extra person who comes into my daily orbit creates another relationship to negotiate. There are so many days that I'm in too much pain to nicely say, "go away" and it's hard to express, "I love you but I don't want to spend time with you". And I was afraid that would all be multiplied times a thousand when it came to my precious little granddaughter. I don't ever want to think or feel "please go away" where she is concerned. If she is in the room, no matter how badly I feel, I am going to hold her. I just am. We've adapted to where she will sit beside me in my big recliner and play with whatever is nearby - iPhone, laptop, camera, her little purse, gatorade bottles - but there are still times that holding her, even just on my lap, will hurt.

But ultimately, the situation was such that we needed Austin and Tasha here and they needed us. Their room here is bigger than the room they had at her mothers. We're mostly passive people and my parents have a stable - almost 50 year - marriage. We have a lot more living space. As a family unit, although we had not had a baby in the household for many years, we have a lot of experience with babies. This is a good place for Cosette to grow up.

No matter what of my reservations have proven true - and some have - the ultimate reward for having a tiny little girl in our home has far outweighed any problems. She loves her Mawmaw, especially now that Mawmaw has recovered enough to hold her again. She loves Pop and giggles when he talks to her. She's gotten to spend a lot more time with her "big" cousins and she loves them- almost idolizes them! It's fun to watch how she plays with them, like she realizes that they are kids like her, even though they're big like the grownups.

Tasha is good about seeing if I'm up to company before they come down. I've gotten better about saying, "I can't today" even when I really want to see my girl. I don't know if this is a little girl thing or just Cosette's temperament but she is mostly content to sit and play with her little pocketbook on my lap. She will sit beside me and play for an extended period of time. She's starting to like books - she's a fast page turner but she does like books. Sometimes I get down on the floor and play with her... the getting back up ain't too pretty but I can do it.

Yesterday she was a bit cranky so Mawmaw brought her down. Initially she was out of sorts to the extent that she didn't want Mawmaw to put her down even to hand her to Nana. (my mom is a baby whisperer) I got her a piece of swiss cheese to snack on. She's learned to sip through a straw so I gave her a little carton of orange juice to drink. She sat sweetly on my lap and nibbled like a little mouse at her cheese and sipped on her juice, enjoying having both Mawmaw and Nana close by. I keep thinking about that little scene because it's such a great reflection of living in a multi-generational household. There is almost always an adult who has time to see to her needs. My mom and I get to love on the same babies... not that she didn't love my babies, because she did - she kept them while I worked - but we didn't have a lot of opportunities to just sit together and enjoy my babies - when one of us was with them, the other one had other things to do. Now we can just sit in adoration and compare notes and photos of the adorable things she does (and that Ollie does).

It's just a very sweet blessing, something that I never really anticipated in this time of my life... having a little girl to love on and help raise... and I'm just really grateful.

Love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Reasons To Love Monday

Monday looks like any other day from my vantage point but honestly, I still scorn the start of the work week. There's not even anyone here at Cedar Hollow who has a real Monday. Austin's days off are usually Tuesday and Sunday or Thursday and Sunday so his Monday is more like a ... Friday or Wednesday or... who knows? The point is that I have no logical reason to hate Monday... I guess it's just so deeply ingrained in my constitution that I can't help myself. 


But it's the season of Lent... and Monday doesn't cause me any misery beyond what any other day has to bring... so I'm going to dig deep and find a few Reasons To Love Monday! 

1. I have to go back to yesterday for this reason but it still holds true... Austin and Tasha had sushi for dinner and Austin brought me the leftovers. OH MY YUMMY! Fresh sushi! I'm still basking in the afterglow of that meal. 

2. Also harkening back to yesterday but beneficial for me today... Cody sent his old Keurig machine up with his neighbors (who used to be our neighbors) who came to see us yesterday so this morning I enjoyed a steaming hot caramel macchiato while doing my Italian lesson. Perfecto! (not sure if that's an Italian word or not). 

3. It's Monday and my sister-in-law is out of town on business so I'm going to get a visit from my two favorite redheads this afternoon! Lately we've been watching the Disney series Jessie but I have Guys and Dolls and Bye Bye Birdie ready for them to watch whenever they're in the mood. 

4. Austin bought me a new Yankee Candle yesterday so I'm going to enjoy the soothing scent of balsam and spruce in my nest today. My kids are so good to me!

5. Cosette got her first pair of shoes yesterday. I can't wait to see her in them. She's her daddy's girl... I have a feeling shoes are going to be a battle with her. She has gotten better about keeping socks on, though. 

6. Tomorrow our little Ollie-pop will be 7 months old! Already!

7. One week of antibiotics for my upper respiratory infection and I'm still just as snotty and miserable. The upside? I guess we know now that it's viral? Or that amoxicillan, even the stronger dose, doesn't work for me. Live and learn. PS I'm out of tissues. 

8. Jeb Bush got out of the race for the Presidency. I love Bush 41 and Bush 43 and I really admire Barbara Bush. Jeb was getting battered and bruised out there and I know that had to hurt his mama's heart. And if by some chance he had gotten elected the comparisons would have been endless and the hate for the Bush family is so strong. I just am glad not to have to feel second hand hurt for them for the next 4-8 years.

9. It's foggy outside. I'm not sure if that's a real Reason to Love but I love the changing atmosphere here at the lake. Anything that makes the days not look the same. 

So there you go... Monday has lost its' power over me! I'm going to sew and play yahtzee and love on the reds and Cosy and enjoy my day! Hope you do too! Love and hugs!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Oliver - Almost 7 Months - And Other Things

 This boy.... could he be any sweeter? Oliver is almost 7 months old. He is crawling everywhere and getting into everything. 

 

He can pull up and walks with help.

 

 

 

 

He loves the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - as does his cousin, Cosette.
His parents are using an empty swimming pool to contain him. Pretty good idea! Now they need to fill it with balls!

 

 


He is fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139)
Cody is good to send pictures and facetime so we can see Ollie in action. Cosy likes to look at my phone for "Bobo Ollie". We all love him so much! 

I had my hip injection on Friday. It was ... an experience. It hurt more than I expected it to but it wasn't as scary as my last set of injections in my spine five years ago. I could totally have had something to eat or drink before hand because the only thing they gave me was versed and then used lidocaine and numbing medicine at the site of the injection. I don't know why they have you avoid food and drink before that but... anyways... It was quite sore Friday and yesterday but is better today, just feels different. I've had a headache on and off since Friday which could be related to the steriods or just my usual random headaches. I guess the jury is still out on whether this was worth the trouble. Oddly, it was the other hip - my right hip - that was giving me the most pain Friday morning! And of course my shoulder... 

Speaking of the whole shoulder thing... I've started a new sewing project based on this... I wanted something to help me use up odds and ends of thread I've accumulated. I was going to go with a different border other than the black but then I realized that I might not have enough of any other color and I wanted this to be a project that used up the inventory, instead of adding to it. Thread is not expensive... it's like .36 cents at Walmart... I just want to use of the odd little skeins that I've accumulated. 

My student is on her way to observe me this afternoon. Austin and Tasha are off at the outlet mall spending their tax return. My parents neighbors from Riverdale are on the way up to switch out some things. They bought my parents old house for their daughters. They're bringing me a keurig machine that Cody had (they live across the street from Cody). Cody upgraded from one cup at a time to a whole pot at a time around the time Ollie was born. We are all anxiously awaiting the phone call from New York to let us know that Baby Boy Gant (Bryan and Helen's baby) is on his way. She is due on Friday! 
So that's what's happening here today. Hope your weekend is going well! Love and hugs! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Things I've Done Thursday

Continuing my effort to blog less but more often...

It's the noon hour and I've already accomplished a lot today! I do have a bit of a routine and it helps, somehow. There is something calming in doing things in some semblance of order. So far today I have:

done my Italian lesson on Duolingo. I could in no way converse in Italian but I find that I'm recognizing words more easily. I'm much better at translating Italian words to English than I am at finding the Italian words from English.

I took Austin to the store for something he forgot yesterday

played a few rounds of Yahtzee - my new time suck

(left) finished my latest embroidery project - it will be a pillow whenever Mom feels like sewing a back on it. I've got a feather pillow that looks like it went through a massacre. I'm going to use the feathers in this pillow. Now I have to find my next project... I went ahead and taped off my next piece of fabric. I like to let it sort of unwrinkle under a pile of blankets before I start to work it.

had lunch - the second half of the Chickfila wrap I had for dinner last night. I tried the new "superfood side" at Chickfila. It's a kale salad with a maple vinaigrette, broccolini, dried cherries and roasted nuts. I liked it a lot better than cole slaw, the item it replaced in their menu.

I watched a documentary on Asa Carter - a segregationist from Alabama who wrote The Outlaw Josey Wales and The Education of Little Tree under the name Forrest Carter. I'm always confused by the idea of segregation... like... how did that ever make sense to anyone?

I watched a book talk on a book about the history of autism. I didn't realize that the first diagnosis of autism happened in 1943. Mind blown. To realize that it's that recent of a disorder and that at first the mothers were blamed so the common practice was to separate the child from its' mother... crazy! In our case, more than fifty years after the first diagnosis, I felt blamed for Austin's "behavior problems" and had to become far more of an activist than I wanted to be. It's interesting to realize that my experience was very similar to those originally diagnosed.

Anyways... so that was my morning. This afternoon I plan to catch up on my favorite vloggers on Youtube, find my next embroidery project, work on Ancestry.com and play some more yahtzee. My parents are going to see Jamie perform in Honor Chorus so I'll be doing a bit of Oscar-sitting - or as I like to call it, "Oscar-verting" - like introverting but with a dog.

I'm trying to decide if I want to buy a mini-keurig machine. Austin got one last week and I'm sort of jealous. I don't drink coffee often and I can't drink much because it aggravates my tachycardia but every now and then I would like to have some. I could just get a regular old coffee pot but I would never drink more than a cup at a time so it would be a waste. I don't know. It's not crazy expensive but I can't decide if it's too much of a splurge for a couple of cups of coffee a month. Also, I think I'm going to have to get a new digital camera because mine is on it's last legs. Not a life or death decision but just part of what's happening in the Life of Heather right now. I could afford to get both but I try to be frugal and not just buy every little thing my heart desires.

Tomorrow I have a hip injection. I'm not sure exactly what's involved, I just know I can't have anything to eat or drink for 8 hours before. With my sore throat - that's still here even after being on antibiotics since Monday - that's going to be really miserable. I'll definitely be using chloraseptic.

Bordering on a longer blog than I intended so I'll wrap things up here. I'll leave you with this picture of Cosy and "her" purse that I took right handed with my iPhone so it's not a great quality picture but she looks SO MUCH like I did as a baby here that I love, love, love it! Austin commented this morning that she has really started to play. I couldn't think of a better way to describe it. It is so much fun to see her discover the world around her! She loves opening and closing the purse and looks for the copy of her dad's drivers license (that I keep on hand in case he loses his wallet and we need the license number to order a new one). She finds her dad and puts the paper beside her face and says, "oh... dada". She likes to pull the cards out of the card holder. I've added lots of business cards and expired gift cards for her to pull out. She pulls them out and then puts them in and closes it again. I'm rattling on like an obsessed grandmother... but I do think she is the most amazing baby girl!

Ok, now that's it. Love and hugs and happy Friday Eve!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Half Priced Chocolate Day

Now I'm frozen and snotty with a sore throat. I changed my dentist appointment to a doctor appointment yesterday to make sure my sore throat wasn't strep. The rapid strep was negative but it always is for me, even when I have strep throat - and I get it often. Because of my mom's compromised immune system (due to the removal of most of her pancreas) our doctor started me on antibiotics so that I don't expose her to anything. His parting instructions: "don't hug your mama!". I love living in a small town.

The pharmacy was crowded. Two of the small pharmacies in our town have closed in the past year or so, increasing the customers at our "big" Rite Aid where I've always gotten my meds. I dropped off the new prescriptions from my pain doctor appointment last Friday and opted not to wait for the antibiotic that my doctor was calling in for me. I figured I'd drag myself out today to pick them all up but Pop surprised me by picking them up when he went into town to pick Austin up from work. He claims that he's "not nice" so maybe he got the antibiotic to get the cooties under control quicker. Or maybe he is nice and just doesn't want anyone to know. We're on to you, Pop! At any rate... I'm two antibiotic doses in now and still feeling cruddy. I have more of a nasal stuffiness thing going on now so hopefully that means that the sore throat was really not strep and just part of an upper respiratory thing.

While I was at the pharmacy dropping off prescriptions I took the opportunity to celebrate my favorite holiday- Half Priced Chocolate Day. I scored a couple of boxes of Russell Stover, some individually wrapped turtles, some chocolate covered cherries and some Lindt truffles. I'm on sort of a Swedish fish/gummy lifesavers/gumdrop kick lately. I have way way too much sugar happening in the Whine Cellar but didn't Mary Poppins say a "spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"? Plus, I'm still getting over the most recent Singles Awareness Day trauma. I had to avoid my Facebook feed all weekend because... ugh... enough with the flowers and lovey dovey stuff. February is just full of all sorts of things that don't apply to me: Super Bowl - didn't care, the Grammy's - don't listen to popular music, Valentine's Day - stupid cupid - and other things. Between the isolation that comes from being in cold weather that makes my arthritis a living hell and the stuff that happens this month that don't include me - February would really suck if not for Half Priced Chocolate.

I bought two Valentines cards this year - one for Ollie and one for Cosy - my truest of true loves. When I got home from the doctor yesterday Cosy was in the kitchen eating her lunch. She started giggling when she saw me and kept laughing out loud and being adorably animated. I didn't want to get her sick but it was SO FREAKING HARD not to hold her. Once she realized I wasn't going to pick her up she was so confused. She was signing "want" and doing her little question hands - you know, the shrug. Seriously the worst part of being sick.

So that's the whole story.  I hope you enjoyed my mini-whine/recap of Half Priced Chocolate Day. This is part of an attempt to blog more frequently with smaller blogs.Love and :waves from across the room: instead of hugs y'all!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I'm FROZEN!

I'm not talking about the movie. Not talking about the weather although... we are looking at potential wintry weather on Monday. What's frozen is my shoulder.

I don't think I had ever heard that term before yesterday. So when Dr Matt (my pain dr's assistant who I usually see) diagnosed my recent shoulder pain as a "frozen shoulder" I didn't know enough to ask intelligent questions. He said it's probably a result of a rotator cuff injury that went undiagnosed and the "freezing" happens due to scar tissue. I am one limping, steaming ball of scar tissue. Half of what's wrong with me is due to untreated stuff from the first forty years of my life. At any rate... he gave some suggestions for treatment for that and for the worsening arthritis in my hip... and I said, "treat me like you would have been treating me over the past four years if I had insurance".

So Matt scribbles stuff in my chart, takes it to Dr. Givogre to review and then we head to the receptionist in the "procedure" area. She starts working up paperwork and said, "I know I don't have to explain this to you..." pointing to my very thick patient file... and I said, "Um... maybe not... what exactly are we doing?" She said, "injections..." and I said, "can you give me the procedure codes for my research?". Because I had an appointment with Dr. Google as soon as I got home.

My first procedure is a steroid injection in my hip next Friday. All I know about it is that I can't have anything to eat or drink before hand and I have to have a driver. They wanted me to schedule the next procedure two weeks later but that was already an "appointment heavy" week so I scheduled it for March 18th. That one is an arthrogram on my shoulder... so it sounds like an injection while they look at what's wrong in it? I think? After they do that part then I'll either start physical therapy or schedule surgery.

The thing about the frozen shoulder - what I remember Dr. Matt saying - is that when part of it is frozen you start using other muscles to do the work that the frozen part would normally do which causes pain in other places such as back, neck, arm... and it causes weakness in the arm which has definitely been the case.

I'm posting this partly for my own memory and partly so when I say, "my shoulder is killing me" you'll know what I'm talking about. I just kept thinking it was sore from holding babies and doing other things that need to be done around the house and in the general living of life. Fortunately my mom got the all clear from her surgeon yesterday so she is doing some of the things she had been doing for me before like scooping the litter box which OH MY GRAVY hurts like the dickens! It's the left shoulder that's frozen and I'm left handed. I am so close to finishing my most recent sewing project and I'm having to do it in small increments.

In other news... I bought a Vera Bradley cross body bag on zulily and it came this week. I wanted something really small because I don't want to tote more stuff than I absolutely have to, especially when I'm toting a baby. I ended up with one that was just TOO small - no room for my phone, which was the main thing. I am not one to spend much on accessories but I had some zulily credit and it was on sale so it ended up only costing me maybe $5-10. I really love the pattern and the quality of this one, though, so I went on the Vera Bradley website last night and splurged on the larger sized (big enough for my phone) cross body bag. Cosette LOVES playing with my keys that I wear on a lanyard and was fascinated with the little bitty purse so I'll pass the little one down for her to play with whenever the larger one comes.

Small one

Larger one


I took Cosette (and her mom) for her 9 month check up last week. She weighs 15 1/2 pounds which is small for her age (Ollie is about two pounds heavier at three months younger!) but the pediatrician feels like she's meeting her developmental milestones so he's not worried that she's gaining slowly. She has transitioned to more table food lately and is a pretty good eater. Her language is better developed than it should be at this point - she says, "mama" and "dada" and "nana" and "kitty kitty kitty cat" and "bye" and "hi" and signs "want" and waves goodbye. She's a little sponge. If you show her how to do something she picks it up quickly and remembers it. She fell out of her high chair last week onto our very hard tile kitchen floor. I ran up to check on her and then brought her down with me to keep her awake for awhile and to make sure she wasn't foggy. She remembered where Raggedy Ann's nose was and how to lift the Frozen dolls hands to make them sing so I felt that was evidence that she wasn't in an altered state. The doctor checked her out good at her check up the next day and said she was fine. Moral of the story: restrain the baby because she is a little spider monkey!

I have a dentist appointment scheduled for Monday, if the weather isn't bad and then the hip thing on Friday so next week should be FUN! Or not. I'm introverting hard this weekend to prepare myself for the trauma and also because I don't feel good and my everything hurts. Stay warm and enjoy your weekend. Love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Random Incomplete Thoughts

I really didn't care about Super Bowl 50. I'm normally mildly interested but... blah. I read a book.

I went to the library on Thursday with Austin, Tasha and Cosette. It was Cosette's first library visit. I finally paid for a book that I lost in 2011. Austin registered to vote. We thought about staying for story time but... maybe next time. I checked out five books since Austin was there to carry them for me.

One of the books was the original manuscript the that Little House series was based on. It was annotated with facts from Laura Ingalls Wilders letters and other sources (like census data) and was very interesting to read. Like the story behind the stories... it was just published in 2014 so it might even still be available for sale - look for Pioneer Girl.

I also read a book called, "Angels On The Night Shift". It was not the best thing ever but it was set in Rock Hill, SC where one of my brothers went to college. So that... was a book.

Next up, what I'm currently reading is a biography of Rosemary Kennedy. Such a tragic life.

My shoulder is killing me.

Yesterday was the first time that Cosette has asked for me. They were having dinner and she kept hollering for "Nana". I was downstairs. Her dad brought her down and she was glad to see me. Always fun to watch her realize the power of communication.

I also brought her down for a little play time with Nana this afternoon after she fell out of her highchair... trying to keep her awake and make sure there was no damage. She still remembered where Raggedy Ann's nose was so I figure she'll live. She's just a little monkey.

I've gotten hooked on Yahtzee online. You play head to head games with people sort of like Words With Friends. I'm very strategic.

I placed an Amazon Prime Pantry order that is coming tomorrow, I think. I stocked up on powdered Gatorade. It's so much cheaper that way. I feel like I've talked about it so much but it is such a "why didn't I think of that sooner?" moment for me. Cheaper, easier to carry. I bought other stuff too.

Austin is having a hard time at work. The manager of their store is known for being a jerk. He's been a jerk to Austin a lot lately. Austin still keeps getting up and going in to work and doing the best he can, even when that jerk berates him and says things that are totally beyond the scope of what an employer has the right to say to an employee. I want to use a different word than jerk but I'm practicing restraint. I'm just really proud of how Austin has stuck with it even in the face of adversity. Big adulting experience.

Ever had a meal that was really exactly what you wanted? Before the library on Thursday we went to Huddle House. I had hash browns - extra crispy - with two eggs fried medium on top. The yolks were just the exact consistency to bind with the hash browns and it was such a good meal that I may end up back there soon. I almost never eat in a restaurant so you KNOW it was good!

My student observer brought me a BLT and some tomato gorgonzola soup from her work place (the Sautee Market, if you're local) and that was another "I can't wait to have another" meal for me. The sandwich more than the soup but the soup was also really good.

Cosette has a check up tomorrow. We'll update her weight then. She is still a tiny little petite thing but is pretty adventurous with real food. She prefers pouches and puffs.

I have a visit the with pain doctor on Friday. Time to talk about potential changes to my treatment plan. Pain doctors are under increasing pressure to get away from narcotics and while I understand the danger... I also understand the danger of leaving someone in pain. We haven't tried anything new or different over the past four years since I was without insurance for such a long time. We know the arthritis in my hip is new/different/worse and the shoulder pain is becoming a real issue for me. I don't want more drugs, I just want to not hurt. Is that unreasonable? I want more of the "management" and less of the "pain".

I'm about to finish my current sewing project. I've had to cut down on my sewing time (shoulder) but I always get excited when it's time to start something new!

My mom goes for her follow up with her surgeon on Friday. Hope it's nothing but good news!

I guess that's about it for now. Hope you're all well and warm and ready for my favorite holiday - you know, the one that happens next Monday - HALF PRICE CHOCOLATE DAY!

love and hugs!

Monday, February 1, 2016

I Need To Blog More Often

Cosette, 9 months - Ollie, 6 months
I think this may be my longest gap in blogging EVER! No reason. Just living and not feeling the need to spill all my thoughts. Introverting, I guess. Let me see if I can remember some highlights of the past ten days or so.

I got my Ancestry.com DNA results back. I am 42% Irish and 0% any spice. Mom says there's Native American somewhere back a few generations. Not according to my DNA. I connected with a few family members and am still (a week later) just barely beginning to process the information. There's a relative who is very knowledgeable about the scientific aspect of the DNA and she had me enter my info into GedMatch and then make a list of all my ancestor's last names going back to around 1600. That's why I didn't blog Friday. That took FOREVER! And in the middle of that process my mom said, "are you busy?" which is Norma for "do something for me" and the something took way longer than it should have because I couldn't remember some key details but... whatever... I got that task done and then sent my Knowledgeable Cousin the list of surnames (I'll post it below if anyone is interested). She sent me this very detailed presentation of information that is so far over my head that I'm having to go back to basics of understanding DNA to even begin to understand what she sent me. However, her work gave me some great confirmation on ancestors that I wasn't entirely sure about. If you want to feel like an uneducated person, try to understand DNA science.

So that has consumed a huge chunk of my time lately, reviewing the DNA info and updating my genealogy research with what I'm finding. I've found another marriage between my Grandma's parents two branches of her family tree, which I think is very interesting. Both families, the Wards and the Bullochs were from middle / Southern Georgia but they were on opposite sides of the state - at least when my grandma was born. Back two hundred years prior they probably weren't so far apart. We know how grandma's parents met - they were introduced by a mutual friend. It will be interesting to figure out how the other couple from their branch of the family tree met, if that's even possible. Yesterday I spent a solid hour reviewing a "hint" on Ancestry.com about my kids' paternal line. There was a yearbook from their dad's dad's mom's high school with a picture of her in the Spanish Club. I thought... "how great would it be to find her class picture?" and I looked through every picture in the entire yearbook but I never did find her. I don't know why but she wasn't there. There are lots of rabbit holes like that in genealogy research but it's fun to follow them.

In other news... OLLIE CAME TO OUR HOUSE! He's six months old now and they got the ok from the pediatrician so they came up on Saturday. Marquee's birthday is this week so I bought a cake and Pop bought stuff from the deli and we just had a quiet visit. Austin was working (as always) and Tasha and Cosette had plans with her parents but they stayed long enough for me to get some cousin photos. It was nice to have time with Ollie where I could hold him as long as I wanted. He is such a sweet little cuddle bug. He is also lightning fast at crawling and freakishly strong. I kept calling him "Bam Bam" like on the Flintstones. I held him waaaaay longer than I should have but I just wanted to soak up as much of him as I could. It's easier for me to take pictures with both babies now that they are strong enough to stand and just need to be steadied. We are still working on the concept of "soft" so we supervise them very closely. They played together for the first time which was SO precious! I don't think Ollie had any allergic reactions. His mom did, bless her heart, but the only time Ollie seemed to rub his eyes is when he was sleepy.

It did my heart good to get to love on him but it screwed my back up so bad that something was impinging in my spine and making me dizzy. I spent the rest of the day trying to make the world stop spinning. I can handle the pain - I don't LIKE it but I can push through - but the dizziness was a whole new level of misery. I did a lot of things I know not to do like standing up and holding him and I've just got to be more cautious about how I do things. I just wanted to cuddle him as long as he would let me and he let me for a long time!

Cosette's little outfit was from a company called Little Beginnings and I bought it on Zulily. She was so cute in it that I bought two more similar outfits yesterday. The cost for the dress, little cardigan and tights was $11.99 so... SCORE! She has boycotted bows for now. She rips them off in a flash so it's not even worth bothering her.

Another interesting development in the past week or so... a local girl is going to school to become an Occupational Therapist and has to do a project where she partners with someone in the community who is living with a disability and she picked me! For 11 weeks she has to visit for a few hours, once a week, and observe the ways that I adapt to my disability - basically observe me in my natural habitat. She was one of my sister-in-law's students at Truett McConnell (the college in our town) and was very close to them, often stayed with them and babysat my nieces so it's not like having a complete stranger in my nest. She's an introvert like me so she gets my "boundaries" and she loves theater so we always have something to talk about. I hate committing to anything because I can never predict what I'm going to feel like doing but since she just does what I'm doing... it's a piece of cake.

Last topic and then I'll close. I should really just write a little bit every day so that I don't have to post such long blog posts, right? I am having much anxiety about the election season that begins today with Iowa's caucus. There is not a single person in the race that I feel confident would be the right person to get our country back on track. Yes, Trump is a strong businessman but he is such a jerk. He'll have us in a world war in no time. Ted Cruz also comes across as a jerk to me. I would have to turn the channel whenever he comes on, just like I do with Obama. Marco Rubio doesn't seem to have the maturity for the job yet. Maybe in 8 years. I like Chris Christie but again... he's too confrontational. Don't even get me started on Hillary. There is so much crookedness in her life that it turns my stomach. I'm anxious about the lack of a good candidate and I'm anxious about the hate and bickering on Facebook. I like keeping up with my friends and family but I hate when people say things like "if you vote Republican you are a greedy waste of flesh" or something similar. Last election cycle a girl I know from theater said something to that effect and it broke my heart. It's ok to have different perspectives but it's not ok to insult people's intelligence or character based on their political beliefs. And for the record, I watch Fox News. I like Fox News. I like the people on Fox News. I also research other sources for my news and information so watching Fox News does not make me ignorant or uninformed. Every time someone insults Fox News, or the people who watch Fox News, I take it personally. It is personal. So yes, I hate election years.

"Does anyone notice that he's touching me???"
That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed catching up. There are more pictures of the babies on my facebook if you'd like to view them there. I'll post the list of surnames from my family tree below just for those who are interested. Happy February! Love and hugs, y'all!

Adams, Alderman, Allaire, Allen, Allison, Almey, Almy, Anderson, Arnold, Ashcraft, Askew, Babcock, Bach, Bailey, Baker, Baldwin, Bangs, Barker, Barrett, Barstow, Bates, Baugh, Baxter, Beers, Bell, Bennett, Bigelow, Bird, Birdsall, Birdsey, Birdseye, Bliss, Bogardus, Bond, Boorman, Borden, Borodell, Bowne, Boyce, Boynton, Bradley, Bradt, Brasseur, Bray, Brewer, Brooks, Brouwer, Brower, Bryant, Bryson, Buchanan, Buckmaster, Bull, Bullock, Burden, Burnell, Burton, Burwell, Butler, Butterfield, Button, Buxton, Byshe, Caldwell, Campbell, Carroll, Case, Cashwell, Cavannah, Cesar, Chamberlain, Chambers, Chapin, Chauncey, Clark, Clayton, Cleaveland, Cleiss, Cleveland, Closson, Clow, Coe, Cole, Collins, Colton, Combs, Conley, Coody, Cook, Cooke, Cooley, Coolidge, Cooper, Corliss, Cornell, Crabbe, Craig, Crandall, Currier, Curtis, Dallas, Dallis, Darling, Darrow, Davis, Dawson, Dayton, DeCarteret, DeForest, DeGraffenreid, DeHooges, Denijs, Denison, Dibble, Dicken, Dickerson, Doane, Doherty, Donahay, Douglas, Dudgeon, Dunbar, Duncan, Dunham, Dunlap, Du Trieux, Ebert, Edison, Edmonston, Eichhelberger, Eidson, Ely, England, Ensminger, Ewing, Fairchild, Falconer, Feake, Feck, Field, Fischbach, Flagg, Flemming, Fletcher, Fordyce, Fowler, Frazier, Gale, Gales, Gallagher, Gant, Gardiner, Gerber, Gest, Gewin, Gilbert, Gijsberts, Glaze, Glover, Goerick, Gorham, Gostwick, Graves, Greely, Green, Grey, Griffith, Groot, Gueder, Guile, Guin, Guthrie, Haas, Hackley, Haes, Haines, Hall, Hamilton, Hand, Hara, Harp, Harrell, Harris, Harrison, Harvey, Hass, Hasse, Havens, Haviland, Hawkins, Hawley, Heath, Hefferland, Heimbach, Henderson, Herwood, Hicks, Hinckley, Hobart, Hobbs, Hoerth, Holmes, Hopkins, Howard, Howland, Hughes, Humphrey, Humphries, Hunt, Hurt, Hutchinson, Hyatt, Illig, Ingraham, Irish, Jackson, James, Jans, Jenkins, Jenner, Jennings, Jewett, Johnson, Jones, Jouett, Jung, Kaifer, Kast, Keeler, Kefer, Keile, Kelly, Kendall, Kerr, Ketchum, King, Kinman, Kip, Klackl, Knight, Koch, Kurtz, Lamberson, Langestraet, Larned, Lawrence, Lazell, Lee, Leonard, Leppingwell, Lethure, Lewis, Litton, Lock, Logan, Loker, Lombard, Long, Longstreet, Losby, Lott, Lounsberry, Lounsbury, Loveland, Lovett, Lowery, Lucas, Luker, Lumpkin, Luten, Maddux, Main, Mason, Matthews, McCormick, McCoullough, McCubbin, McGhie, McGinnis, McGowan, McNeave, Melgerts, Middleton, Mighill, Miller, Milne, Miner, Mitchell, Moad, Mockers, Morgan, Moore, Moorhouse, Morehouse,  Morford, Morris, Morse, Morton, Moseley, Mott, Mottram, Mowat, Nazary, Neal, Needham, Neff, Newell, Newton, Nichols, Nicholl, Northrup, O'Brillighan, Ogden, Old, Oliver, O'Neil, Osborn, Ottilia, Packer, Paine, Palmer, Parden, Parsons, Patchen, Patterson, Pearce, Peat, Peeck, Peek, Peet, Pendleton, Penn, Pennington, Perkins, Peyton, Phillipi, Phillips, Pierson, Pilkinton, Post, Powell, Pray, Prentiss, Price, Randall, Ray, Reach, Read, Reed, Reese, Reeves, Reves, Rhea, Rhodes, Rice, Richmond, Right, Risserodt, Roach, Robertson, Robins, Robinson, Rogerman, Rogers, Roth, Salter, Sanderson, Scheff, Schneck, Schneider, Scott, Seagrave, Seawell, Sellbie, Selvey, Settle, Sewell,  Shafto, Sharp, Shattuck, Shelley, Shelton, Simmons, Sinclair, Smeets, Smith, Smythe, Snow, Snyder, Sowell, Spear, Spelman, Spencer, Spens, Spielmann, Spilman, Spillman, Stannard, Stearns, Stebbins, Stevens, Stevinson, Stewart, Story,  Stout, Strunk, Stuart, Stuell, Stupp, Swallow, Sweet, Summers, Sybrants, Syms, Symson, Taylor, Teagle, Tealby, Tenney, Terrill, Thompson, Tibbals, Titherton, Tombley, Tomson, Towneley, Townsend, Tscharner, Turner, Tyler, Underwood, Van Antwerpen, Vanderpoel, Vanderpool, Van Koewenhoven, Van Leuwen, Van Lieuwen, Vann, Vannort, Van Note, Van Pelt, Van Schoenderwoert, Van Voorhees, Van Voorhies, Van Woert, Vass, Venables, Verden, Ver Planck, Von Tscharner, Wade, Wakley, Wakelee, Walburton, Walker, Wall, Walls, Warkins, Waring, Warner, Ward, Warren, Waterman, Waters, Weed, West, White, Whitmore, Whitney, Wickenden, Wiebling, Wilcox, Wilcoxson, Wiley, Wilkinson, Williams, Wilson, Wilsone, Winehurst, Wingate, Winn, Winston, Woodruff, Wooley, Worden, Worley, Wormall, Worth, Wright, Wyatt, Yatman