Hello dear blog readers! I almost let the day go by without a post but then I thought... I've got a bit of a streak going, why mess that up? Even if I don't have anything the least bit interesting to say.
Pain wise... I'm hobbled quite a bit today. Do you really want me to list all the parts that hurt or should I list the parts that don't... that might be shorter. The piriformis syndrome came back with a vengeance today. I canNOT find a comfortable position to sit in. If I turn toward the left to take the pressure off that right cheek that is constantly in spasms then it hurts the left hip. If I recline back to take the pressure off the right cheek it feels like someone is stabbing me in the tailbone. My right hip hurts. My legs hurt. I mean... seriously... this is one of those days that makes me understand the people who get addicted to pain meds or end their own lives because of uncontrolled pain. It was another "pick up Austin" day so I had to just tough it out again and not take anything for pain until he was home. Pop says to blame my sister-in-law (choir director) for scheduling choir practice at time to pick Austin up... I think I'll just blame Austin for not driving yet BUT... at the same time... I don't want him to drive until he is ready because if something happened I would never forgive myself. I didn't drive until I was in my late twenties. My mom didn't drive until her thirties. It's just that way for some folks. So even though it sucks to have to tough it out during the day... it's ok. (Do I sound like a Jewish mom there? Better I should suff-uh than have my son be stressed by having to drive....)
But I did more today than suffer and complain! Yes! I went online shopping! I had a little zulily haul. I bought two tunic-ish/longish shirts to wear with leggings or yoga pants. One is brown and long sleeved. One is purple and short sleeved and has pockets! I bought a long sleeved black shirt for layering because it's usually cool down here in the Whine Cellar. I bought a pair of purple leggings AND I bought a new sterling silver ring. I still have five fingers without rings. My total with shipping was $67. A bit of a splurge but I needed a few new pieces. I had a big Old Navy order ready to go Friday night with all kinds of great stuff for Oliver, some cute things - especially tights - for Cosette, several of my staple wardrobe pieces, all at clearance prices and... the site crashed when I tried to check out. That haul was over $100 - but I had so much stuff in that cart! Cody sent me some links for some things they need from Carter's so that will be my next haul. I wanted to get a few things for Cosette to have for when she stays with us but ... we're not really asking for overnights with her until she's 2, so as to not interrupt the mother/child nursing bond.
I wanted to find a necklace or ring that I could engrave with Oliver and Cosette. Or maybe do a charm bracelet that lists all my loves on it. Ryan, Sara, Cody, Marquee, Austin, Cosette and Oliver. Maybe I'll work on the charm bracelet.
Other than online shopping today I .... picked Austin up from work. I got there early so I could get a Starbucks mango iced black tea. I also made a quick trip through the market and bought flavored creamer for Austin and plain half and half for my morning chai tea. I got cherries, bananas and cut melon. I bought a lot of yogurt. I've been enjoying yogurt in the morning lately. But not this morning. Today I had a brown sugar and cinnamon pop tart. I don't know where I came from but it was laying there on the tray on my kitchen table so I thought... why not? Pop tarts don't go bad. Do they? Then I had a frozen smart ones meal for lunch - oriental chicken. I thought we weren't allow to use "oriental" anymore. It ok. Filled me enough to get to dinner which was... steamed shrimp. And that's all. I didn't feel like eating. I felt even less like preparing something or ... God forbid... COOKING something... so I had myself a shrimp coctail without the pretty glass. Just a little paper plate. And it was good.
Today at Ingles somebody tried to walk out of the store with a cart full of ribs and other expensive meat that they didn't pay for. They walked right past the manager and immediately got caught. I asked Austin if it was a local or a tourist and he didn't know. I tell ya what, if you want to know what's going on in Cleveland, Georgia, you just head down to the Ingles in town. They seem to have their finger on the pulse. You can watch the world go by sitting in the parking lot. Since we're a "tourist" town it's not unusual to have people stop in and stock up for their vacation cabin... or for camping... or maybe just to get drunk ridin' the hooch. Or shootin' the hooch? I live here and I can't even keep it straight. One thing is for sure... there are too many people shopping in their swimsuits but I've ranted about that already this week.
So that's about it y'all. Sorry for the whine, wish I could offer you wine instead. Maybe something exciting and blog worthy will happen this week... hang in there, it's got to get better than this, right??
Happy... day that starts tomorrow that we aren't going to mention in case some of you don't want to think about it yet. We're gonna have a good week... let's go in with a song in our heart and a spring in our step and trust God to get us through whatever's coming! Love and hugs, everybody... forgive the typos and the stuff that doesn't make sense... I'm dozing off on the keyboard.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Hello dear blog readers! I almost let the day go by without a post but then I thought... I've got a bit of a streak going, why mess that up? Even if I don't have anything the least bit interesting to say.
Posted by Heather at 7:57 PM
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Giorno numero sei! I've been blogging for six days straight. Here's where the material gets a little thin... this is my life y'all... it's boring in spots...
Posted by Heather at 7:59 PM
Friday, July 29, 2016
|New porch - view from the driveway...|
I spent the day binge-watching Jane the Virgin, which is a great show. It's sort of a parody of tele-novellas and is a little over the top but it's been entertaining. Yay for Netflix! Yay for avoiding the 24 hour news cycle this week!
I also finished a massive Italian course that I've been working on since - April, I think - that included over 2,000 words. The way the program I'm using - memrise.com - works, you continue to review the words from courses you've finished at certain intervals so I'm not technically DONE with that course because I'll keep reviewing until I'm sure I know every single word. Or most of them. I'm still reviewing the Duolingo "recap" course and I'm working on a new course that is more about learning phrases and understanding sentence structure which is a very big difference between English and Italian. I still only speak Italian to the cats but I'm getting better. I enjoy the challenge.
Pain wise... left shoulder, still the piriformis syndrome but not as bad, headache but not migraine level, muscle spasms in my lower back. I'm not kidding when I say that it's something every single day. Not the worst pain day I've had lately though, so that was nice.
Today I had yogurt with granola for breakfast... corn for lunch (just corn... I meant to warm up some leftover potatoes in chicken and I just wasn't that hungry)... and then fried chicken and macaroni & cheese for dinner. Not getting the fruit and veg in so well today. It's just harder to eat with the doggie beside me. He's very interested in my food!
I've never done a Filter Free day before, officially but I think my blogging style tends to lean toward unfiltered anyways. This has been a tough week for me emotionally. (physically too but that's always the case). I'm really hurt by the things I've seen posted on Facebook by people who feel differently from me politically. This happened during the last election too and I think it just hurts more now because I'm feeling so emotionally vulnerable because of our situation with Cosette. I'm just already so bruised and battered that I take things more to heart. So I'm just going to go ahead and list the reasons that I plan to vote the way I'm planning to vote not that I think it will change anyone else's mind but because I'm tired of being vilified. Here's the thing...
I believe that abortion is always wrong. It ends a life. And while I understand that people have reasons... and while I might be emotionally moved by those individual, heart-wrenching cases, I can't escape the conviction that ending a life is wrong. That's always my main reason for voting conservatively. The extreme cases such as rape and health concerns for the mother and child are a small percentage of abortions and in those situations, I would want someone wiser and more knowledgeable than myself to make the decision. HOWEVER... those cases are not the bulk of the abortions in this county, most are for the convenience of the mother and father. So - always - every time - no matter what - my vote will go for the candidate with the most conservative position on abortion. For those who believe in a woman's right to choose... I agree. Those infant girls and boys have the right to choose life and I will always want to do what I can for those who can't speak up for themselves.
The other fear I have in this election, at this moment in time is that our world is in chaos and I feel strongly that our isolationist policies of the Obama administration have strongly contributed by not doing what we could and not speaking up for those who needed to be defended. For half of his administration his Secretary of State was Hilary Clinton and I'm not impressed by her handling of world affairs. We pulled out of Iraq too soon. We haven't been strong against ISIS. People are fleeing for their lives from the places that ISIS has infiltrated and those who can't flee are being executed. Christians... executed. Homosexuals... executed. Women... raped and executed. Want to protect Women's Rights? Start in Syria. Or Iraq. Are you for equality... same sex marriage? Guess who isn't? ISIS. The horrific things they do to homosexuals haunt me. How could we do anything short of electing someone who will be strong against ISIS? How could I allow myself as a woman, or my gay friends to be put in danger?
Places with open borders are finding themselves facing frequent and horrific terrorist attacks. Do I want us to build a wall between us and Mexico? No, of course not... but I do feel like it's important to have strong border controls so that those who consider us as "infidels" don't get in. Our country has a history of being a melting pot but it never has just flung open the doors for anyone and everyone. If you spend any time doing genealogy studies you realize that there were checks and balances and lots of people didn't get in. Look at Germany... France... Turkey... and how open borders have cost the lives of their innocent citizens. War doesn't look like it did in World War II - with uniformed men marching across borders. They come one at a time... and so many that end up causing harm have already come under suspicion but political correctness stopped them from being stopped. Not speaking up costs innocent lives. That matters to me.
For those who are here and undocumented, let's extend amnesty. If they can show a history of working or studying, maintaining a home, obeying the law (except for being here illegally), let them stay and pay taxes. No system is fool proof but we can't just blindly say, "y'all c'mon in..." without placing our nation at risk. Blanket amnesty, beyond what our system could handle puts us all at risk, even those seeking sanctuary here. If they're breaking the law... send 'em back to where they came from. I think it's simple. Let the ones who want to do things right stay here. Free up the folks in immigration and border patrol so that they can spend time watching for those who want to come here to do harm instead of chasing down people who want to do the right thing but just haven't been able to get the paperwork in order.
Look, I'm not a huge fan of Donald Trump but I am concerned about what has happened in the past eight years. I'm concerned about the future of the Supreme Court and having activist judges appointed during a Clinton Administration. For Ruth Bader Ginsberg to feel so emboldened as to speak out against a Presidential candidate just demonstrates to me that justice is no longer blind. I'm concerned about the world that my children and grandchildren will be living in. I'm concerned about leadership that doesn't lead. I'm concerned about the growing racial divide in this country. I was accused of being racist this week by someone very close to me... when they painted all "non-Hilary" voters with a broad brush and that hurt me. I couldn't watch the Democratic Convention because my heart is too weary right now to listen to people like myself with only the best, patriotic intentions at heart be maligned and attacked for what we believe. This happened during the last election too... with accusations of not caring about people without healthcare when absolutely the opposite is true. I'm concerned about being able to pay for the programs that our government creates and how heavily my kids and grandkids will be taxed.
So - Filter Free Friday - the truth is that if I loved you before this election, I will still love you after this election, no matter how you vote. I will respect your right to follow your convictions just as I follow my own. I won't engage in name calling or Facebook debates because truly, how could that possibly change anyone's mind? I won't paint with a broad brush that says, "if you don't like what I say, unfriend me" because my hope is that I can continue to be friends with a wide array of people who all bring their own unique life experience to the table and that those who love me, love me for who I am and understand that my heart is in the right place. I've learned so much from people who aren't just like me and I want to surround myself with diversity. But I can't tell you that it doesn't hurt to be essentially tossed aside over my belief system and my own personal convictions when I have always respected those of others. And I can't tell you that I won't remember things that were said about... people who feel the way I feel. I don't post politically divisive stuff because I don't want to hurt people I love who see things differently than me. That's sometimes the problem with "free speech"... we only want to protect it for those who think like us and stifle those who don't agree.
I remember a story that my former mother-in-law told me about my father-in-law who was killed in Vietnam. He came home and faced people protesting against the war and their anger towards him for serving in the war. He told his wife that it was ok, he was fighting for their right to disagree. Many have fought and died for our right to follow our own convictions. I hope we don't let their sacrifice be in vain, that we can continue to allow people to speak freely.
And I guess that's all I have to say about that. Happy Weekend, friends! Love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 7:38 PM
Thursday, July 28, 2016
|The new porch... almost finished...|
Pain wise today... piriformis syndrome is out of control. That's the one I describe as feeling like sitting on a thick wallet. I have tried all kinds of pillow/cushion combinations trying to get it to ease up. Pain meds don't really touch it but the strong muscle relaxers help some. I have such a love/hate relationship with the muscle relaxer they're giving me because it makes me feel like I'm stoned. I can barely keep my eyes open but it works much better than what I was taking. My back still has the deep ache that I acquired sitting in court two weeks ago. Usually that kind of "trauma" settles down in a week or so. I use the word "trauma" in quotes because it's relative. For most people sitting for a few hours in a courtroom would be no big deal. For me, it's pure torture before you even factor in the mental stress.
That's my summary for today... on with the show!
1. Do you like blue cheese? I like it for wings and to dip celery in. Maybe crumbled on a salad if it's good quality blue cheese. My favorite cheese is brie and I've been wanting to try halloumi but haven't found it here.
1: I need to pee
2: I'm glad Austin and I ran to town this morning, it was a nice chat
3: I hope my mom isn't having another attack of pancreatitis, she thinks she is.
|Trying to show the dock post-pressure washing. Too far to see.|
Posted by Heather at 6:34 PM
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Actually. I almost forgot my intention to be a daily blogger again. It has been an eventful day here but despite the title I can't really whine today. If you're friends with me on Facebook you already know that my Cosy girl came by to play for a little while today!!! It was... supervised visitation, I suppose... her mom and grandma came along. And Austin wasn't here so he didn't get to see her and he is really hurting.
So if there is a whine from today, it's that a mama can only be as happy as her saddest child and he is heartbroken. Cosy has taken her first steps and he missed it. This is such a precious time in her life and he will never get it back. Her entire month of being 14 months is lost to him, as of Friday. It will always be a time we look back on with regret.
That being said... it did my Nana heart so much good to see her and watch her walking. She was a little hesitant when they came through the door but then she saw Oscar and said, "Ooof!" And wanted to get down to his level. Then she saw her toys in Mawmaw's living room... Then she saw Little Kitty and started making the clicking sound that I make to call the cats. She remembers! She chased him into the kitchen still doing her monkey crawl. I asked her what sound the cat makes and she said, "Hiiiisssssss". LOL! She's been around some mean cats lately apparently. Actually I think her moms cat runs and hides if there is any human around. Anyways... Little Kitty headed downstairs so I took Cosy for a ride on my Acorn Stairlift down to my living room. OOOF! CATS! TOYS! Oh Boy! She immediately went to the shelf where I keep her toys and the first toy she reached for..... Raggedy Ann! Guess what Nana's buying her real soon? The Biggest Best Raggedy Ann I can find.
They stayed for about an hour. I crawled around on the floor playing with Cosy. Cosy actually stood up and walked... she took lots of steps in a row. She is legit walking! My mom got a few pictures. I got a few pictures. There was no unpleasantness. No discussions of hearings and mediations and custody or any of the ugliness of the past few weeks. We were just Mothers, Daughters and Grandmothers all admiring the same sweet little girl. Ultimately, that's what this "divorced" parenting situation is like... we may not all feel the same about each other as we did on the day Cosette was born but we all still feel the same way - and more - about Cosette. Our problem is that too many people love her and want to have her in their life as much as possible. Loving her means building a world for her that accommodates all of these people who love her, making sure she can spend time with her daddy on his days off. Making sure she can come over when family, especially her baby cousins, come from out of town. Give her the comfort and security she feels with her mama... but expanding her world enough to include a father who loves her with his entire heart and our huge, diverse family who can all bring special things to her life.
In short: I have hope. And for those of you who saw the pictures and left comments and even just liked the pictures... I know that your hearts agree with mine, that you want her in my life, you understand how precious she is to me - to us - to all of us. Please continue to pray because we are going to have to sit down and come to a place of agreement. We have to negotiate legal documents that will be the framework for how her little life is going to be structured. There's a lot of work to do. There's a lot of hurt attached to this process. I just pray that we get through it without any more hurt... and that we can all cooperate and that each family will see the value of the other family and that we can support and encourage one another.
Also today... we had our decks and dock pressure washed. That was a noisy annoyance all day but I didn't have to leave the house so... YAY! We had steak and mashed potatoes for dinner (yum) I had frozen chicken sandwiches from White Castle for lunch. They were only sorta ok. For breakfast I had one fried egg, two pieces of bacon and an english muffin. Low on fruits and veg today. Better grab a handful of grapes for my snack. The animals were out of sorts because they couldn't go out to the screen porches. I'll take some "after" photos tomorrow so you can see the changes to our decks.
And now I'm watching Big Brother and then I'm getting back to my binge watching Jane the Virgin. I have found a few more series I'm interested in watching on Netflix. I may be able to boycott broadcast news at least through August! I'm breaking the 24 hour news cycle addiction, y'all!
Painwise today - again the left shoulder is hurting. Right butt check in spasm. Not as fun as you might think. Lower back pain spreading to the left hip something fierce. Ankles and feet hurting today because... you know... it just happens. Pain can strike anywhere and it often does. This morning I used the cane and then tucked it away before Cosy came. Didn't want to confuse her or be hampered.
Thanks for your love and support, especially in our efforts to reunite Cosette with her dad. Please keep their relationship in prayer. He loves his daughter so very much. Everything he does in life is for her. Hope you're all well! Love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 8:50 PM
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Biggest news... Cosy's mama hired a lawyer. Our hope is that having a paid professional will help her come to a more realistic understanding of how the court allows fathers to have visitation with their children. The immediate impact for us is that the new lawyer has a conflict on the day that we had mediation scheduled so that has to be rescheduled. It's not likely to be scheduled before we go to court on the 15th which means that we may or may not (not likely) get things sorted that day. Hopefully we can at least complete the legitimation so that we can request an emergency order for visitation. We hope. I'm trying to work out a visit with Cosy in the meantime.
Austin completed his parenting class today. It's not HUGE news but it's required for all parents who go through a custody case, just like the mediation. Austin's been working really hard to get his life in order to prepare for having Cosette in his life. He's kept his room really clean, for example. We've made long term plans for where she will sleep and just had a good time planning for their life. When it seems like the time is dragging by so slowly and we literally just ache to have things resolved, we focus on the future and all the opportunities we will have to share in her life. I think he found the parenting class... um.... interesting. I told him it would be fun to make a game out of it and take a shot every time they cover a topic that has been handled inappropriately in Cosette's case. He's not much of a drinker but he did find quite a few things that were interesting/ironic.
In my continuing effort to avoid broadcast news i.e. the Democratic National Convention, this morning I watched Sports Center instead of Fox and Friends. I missed sweet Steve Doocey and his son Peter but I just can't take any Hillary this week. I'm at the breaking point. I finished all of Grace and Frankie and started watching Jane the Virgin. Jane is done like a parody of a telenovella - a young woman - a virgin - is accidentally inseminated with the sperm of her boss. It's such a far reach of a plot but it's quite entertaining and I'm binge-watching my little heart out. I'm going through a Netflix series about every 2-3 days. I hope there are enough to keep me entertained until November. Any suggestions?
Today for breakfast I had yogurt, green grapes and an english muffin. For lunch... steamed green beans with leftover rotisserie chicken. For dinner we had roast, potatoes and carrots. I'm back to drinking water as my primary beverage but like to have chai tea with a little cream and sugar in the morning. And of course, my Luigi's Mango Italian Ice. I'm hoarding it.
Pain wise... today the left shoulder is screaming, the left hip hates me and my piriformis syndrome - (it's a nerve compression that makes you feel like you're always sitting on a really thick wallet) - well, it's gotten a bit better. It was really out of control after our last court appearance and I was afraid it was permanently ruined but it's finally a little better today. I'm having lower back spasms that take my breath away and cramping in my right hand and left wrist. Quite honestly, just your average Tuesday but at least I didn't have to leave the house since Austin was off work.
Our upstairs deck remodel is almost finished... and tomorrow the painters come to start working on painting the decks and the dock, I think. We're just a beehive of activity!
So that's my Tuesday. Hope yours was far more interesting! Love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 7:53 PM
Monday, July 25, 2016
1. It's hot. Fry an egg on the sidewalk hot. And I don't glisten any more... I sweat. I'm tired of having the breath sucked out of me every time I step outside. I'm ready for the temps to dip back down to a more tolerable level. I'll settle for anything below 90 at this point but really... I want to need to wear a sweatshirt. I want it to be cold. Or cool. The Summer can't end soon enough to suit me. BUT... we're at the end of the July... we're about 2/3 through...
|Oliver with his practically grown big cousins.|
7. Big Brother this season - not doing it for me. I just can't get excited about the folks in there this year. It's usually a great Summer diversion but this year... eh.
9. I'm LOVING the Netflix show Grace and Frankie (although I do still harbor bitterness toward Jane Fonda for her whole Hanoi Jane thing). Grace and Frankie is an amazing show. It's been a great escape for me this past week as I binge watched it BUT ... it's a reason to not love this Monday because I'm almost all the way through the second season and I don't know when they'll release more episodes. The second season just came out in May. ARGH! I'm going to have to find another compelling show that will keep me entertained because I'll be on Netflix all week. At least until Thursday. Maybe until the Summer Olympics. Or until the election is over.
PS: There are lots more pictures from Oliver's birthday on my Facebook page!
Posted by Heather at 3:22 PM
Friday, July 15, 2016
Happy Weekend to those who celebrate... for me pretty much every day looks the same other than the fact that Book TV is on CSpan on the weekends and I'm less likely to go into town on the weekend. But I know many of you still look forward to the Freakin' Weekend, so... yay!
Yesterday was Austin's hearing for the "temporary protective order" aka TPO that had been put in place after the chaos that occurred surrounding his last attempt to visit his child. The short story is that it was dismissed because there was no evidence to show that it was necessary. I'll tell you the long version in the part that follows, to the extent that I can.
First thing... we were on the docket for 9am, among many other cases. As we had feared, they brought the baby. With the TPO in place, none of us could legally interact with the baby or her maternal family. That. was. hard. She called out for her dad and he had to just walk away and sat there wiping tears. I asked him if he was ok so many times that he had to tell me to stop asking if he was ok. Baby Girl made eye contact with me and Mawmaw and her mom forcefully turned her head away from us. She knew who we were. The county courthouse is small, as you would imagine for a small town. There was a juvenile case on the docket that required that the courtroom be emptied while it was in progress so we had to sit in the small lobby watching Cosette but not touching her or talking to her. As heart-wrenching as that was I was still glad to see her.
The court schedule ran long. After the juvenile case there was a dramatic bullsh**ing Southern lawyer who tried the last case of the morning. It was pure theater and I would have found it amusing had it not meant that we had to sit through it for an hour or so, break for lunch and then come back. That's right. Sat at the courthouse from 9 to 12 for no good reason. On the upside... the baby's mother had been avoiding service of the paperwork for the custody case and our attorney was able to get her served while we were there so the clock is ticking for that day in court. It's a process. Baby steps, I guess.
We went home for lunch. I had two antacids and a protein bar. I had a piece of cheese toast for breakfast. I couldn't eat.
Back to the courthouse. Austin won a bet with his lawyer about the previous case so his lawyer gave him $10 when we got back. I told him that was probably the first time in history a lawyer had ever paid a client. But seriously... our lawyer is such an awesome guy. I won't name him here but if you are ever in need of a family attorney in this area, I'll give you his number. He has been such a calming force for us and truly, worth every penny. He teased me a lot yesterday because I wouldn't let him out of sight. I seriously called his office when I couldn't find him for a few minutes. He's straight talking and doesn't hold back on his opinion. He has a good rapport with Austin and really seems to "get him". He did a great job for us yesterday and he was just fun to hang out with. He and Pop bonded over golf, as I knew they would.
Our case was heard when we returned from lunch at 1:30. I really don't feel comfortable sharing the details of the hearing in a public forum and I hope you all understand. We're just still in the process of finding justice for Cosy (justice in that the child has two parents and should be able to have a relationship with both) and I have to be careful not to say anything that might complicate things. The judge found that there was no evidence of Austin harming Cosy or her mother and didn't believe him to be a threat to them. What this means is that there is no legal reason that Austin should not be able to see his daughter. More about that in a minute. We had planned that Austin and myself would testify and of course, Austin has a video of the incident but none of that was necessary. The mother presented her case and she didn't have a case and it was over after that. We were pleased.
In light of the TPO being lifted, I contacted Cosy's mother today and requested that we have her for one hour - ONE HOUR on Tuesday and her mother denied my request. She will allow it only if she "supervises" visitation and that's just not going to happen. My hope was to give Cosy and Austin the opportunity to reunite but also to help ease baby girl into being away from her mother for short periods of time so that it's not traumatic for her once visitation is awarded. I offered to let mother pick the time of day, I offered to have my mom ride in the backseat with Cosy. I offered to bring her back immediately if she was the least bit distressed and she refused. There was a longer conversation involved than what I wanted but I truly hoped that we could find some common ground and avoid another long court process. I hoped that appearing in court without an attorney had embarrassed her enough that she would want to avoid it in the future. I was embarrassed for her, honestly.
Ultimately though, she is unwilling to allow us any time at all with Cosette unless she comes along and honestly, I just don't want to risk any unpleasantness. I mean, really, I would feel like I needed to video the entire visit just in case. She tacked on a little nasty "she is happier without you in her life" at the end so... I had to remind myself not to let someone else's words become my truth. I know that her only weapon is Cosette and I understand that she is disappointed in how things have turned out. But it took two people to create that child and there are two families who love her. We aren't going away. I know that the court is not pleased when parents try to alienate their child against the other parent and I have seen cases where the offending parent loses custody for that reason. I mean, the other grandfather testified under oath yesterday that he wanted to kill Austin. These people have no idea... and part of my hesitation in putting any of this on the internet is that I wouldn't want Cosette to stumble across this some day and know just how ... ridiculous... I'm sorry, I can't come up with another word... her maternal family was during this process.
Yesterday we got home from court around 2:30 and I was asleep not long after. I woke up at 6:30 and saw the tragic news from Nice, France. It's so heartbreaking to see how much hate there is in the world. I am so sad that we are separated from Cosette for a short time but I'm so grateful to God that our separation is temporary and that she is not lost to us forever. I had a few luigi's and facetimed with Oliver (who has learned to wave goodbye and say, "muah" when he kisses me goodbye over facetime!) then I went back to sleep probably within an hour and slept straight through until about 3am this morning. The physical toll on my body from sitting on those hard church pews (there is a thin cushion but not much comfort) yesterday has left me fairly crippled today. I have cursed my back about a dozen times today and shed more tears over back pain than over our sweet baby. I know that she will be back with us. I look forward to watching her grow up. I know that God loves her and will protect her and I know that she will grow up knowing her daddy and knowing that she has two families who love her. I just hope I don't end up in a wheelchair from this process. Too much time sitting in lawyers' office and courtrooms... too much stress on my spine.
So we wait for our next day in court and just try to get through this hot Summer. I'm looking forward to the Republican Convention next week. I "self-identify" more with conservative politics than liberal and I am usually encouraged by the pep rally environment of the political convention. Tim Tebow is speaking and I'm looking forward to that. Oliver's birthday is the 23rd and we'll be going down for his big first birthday party. I bought him a bounce house - I got a great deal on it - and I can't wait to see him in it. And... that's about it, I guess. Time for me to hit the freezer and have my daily dose of Luigi's. Thank you for your love and support. Many of you have messaged me and commented and sent texts and I don't feel like I've thanked you enough. It means the world to me to have your voices drowning out the negativity. Our attorney has told us not to have people out marching out in front of the courthouse with "Cosette's Life Matters" signs (I think I come across as pretty militant about this situation to him....) but I do feel the love and prayers and I'm so grateful! Hope you have a great weekend and I'll update you soon! Love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 7:04 PM
Friday, July 8, 2016
I can't remember which day it was but I had ice cream for lunch recently. I gave myself a long list of reasons why it was ok, which included things like: I'm 48 years old, I'm under a lot of stress, it's Summer, nobody had to cook and so on. But truly, the only reason I'm making that a blog title/subject is because life here lately has just been so serious and sad and I don't want it to be. For the record, it's really ok to have ice cream for lunch occasionally.
Mostly my diet looks like this lately: yogurt with fruit for breakfast unless Pop cooks. He makes really creamy grits and knows exactly how I like my eggs (fried, sort of medium where the yellow isn't completely runny but is a little runny). For lunch I've been having either watermelon or tomato sandwiches. Don't read that to say "watermelon sandwiches". Either tomato sandwiches or fresh watermelon. It's hot, although my space is nice and cool, to the point where I still wear long sleeves and long pants every day or I'd be wrapped up in a blanket but the heat outside makes me not hungry for much other than fresh produce. Dinner runs the gamut from nothing or DIY (which means Pop isn't cooking) or take out, usually from a local meat and three or Chickfila. When Pop cooks it's almost always good but I'm at a loss for an example of a meal we've had lately (keep reading, I remembered one). I put some dried beans and country ham in the crockpot yesterday down here and it smelled awesome all day but the taste was only meh. And of course every day I have two luigi's mango italian ice cups because I'm a creature of habit and I really like them.
Wednesday was a long, eternal day of much suffering and I fell asleep with a plate of spaghetti in my lap (Pop cooked!) before I had my luigis. I had received a text regarding baby girl saying that she had been to the doctor for a virus and had gained a pound since she was last weighed - about a month ago. I was happy to get an update, happy to hear she had gained as she's been flirting with falling below the chart. I responded with a simple "thank you, we'd like to see her" which descended into the typical non-sensible nonsense that is the reason we can't see her in the first place. It could all be so simple... dismiss the restraining order for which there is no need/proof to the contrary, each side makes a list of their perception of how custody and visitation should go and we figure out a way to meet in an agreeable middle which the lawyer we've already paid for puts together in to a nice, formal agreement. We go to the judge (because it has to be done that way to be legal) he looks over what our very expensive lawyer has prepared and says, "great" and we're in and out in five minutes. Nobody has to pay anything more than we've already paid and it's not dramatic or painful for anyone and we're all responsible, Christian adults who know how to put a child's needs above our own. That's how it goes in a perfect world but I'm thinking our world isn't perfect.
Anyways... this descent back into nonsense happens when I'm about 15 hours into a day where I had enough pain to vomit but had to hold off on pain meds because I was the only one able to drive to get Austin. I was about as close to "curl up in a fetal position" pain-wise as it gets. I was also messaging back and forth with my former father-in-law's first cousin who was with her mother who was giving me some great details about the former's biological father. With her information and the resources on ancestry.com (which earned it's expense in this instance) I was able to track down my kids' biological great-grandfather, his birth certificate, his family's census records for several decades and lots of other info. I found out that he was 5'9, 135lbs in 1942, which was the same size as my kids' dad at that same age. I found out that he was a truck driver. I still haven't located marriage and divorce records but... long time ago in rural Texas so they may not exist.
Last night while doing a little more research I found what might possibly be incarceration records for this character. Well, they're definitely incarceration records, I'm just not completely sure they're his. The birthday was off by a year but the height, weight, religion, geographical area, occupation and name were the same. If it's the same person, he spent a long time in jail for burglary, three separate sentences served over the course of about 15 years. The time frame is the same time when my former father-in-law was adopted by his step-father, so that would explain maybe why he was adopted.
Anyways... all of that drama around the past, present and future combined with a lot of physical discomfort was just too much. I picked up prescriptions and a few groceries while picking up Austin and that's when I got the final non-sensible nonsense text just as Austin was leaving work which got him wound up and ... yeah. Ice cream for lunch. I've earned it.
I watched a lot of the - I'm not even sure what you call it - the political drama with FBI Director Comey regarding the lack of prosecution of Hillary Clinton despite her obvious carelessness with her email set up. Ultimately you either have to believe that she was ignorant of how to handle sensitive, classified documents or you have to believe that she knew what she was doing and didn't care. Either way I think that makes her infinitely unqualified to be Commander in Chief but it doesn't make Trump any more qualified than he was before. All the things that supposedly make her "the most qualified candidate ever" according to Obama make it really puzzling how she could not know that she was playing fast and loose with National Security. I've got to say, Director Comey was impressive in his calm way of answering questions which went something like: (Republican) "This is total BS", (Democrat) " (butt-kissing, sucking up)". I was also impressed that nobody had to stop to go to the bathroom during that whole process. I went about a half dozen times while it was on.
Then we have this Wild West mentality going on between The Thin Blue Line and Black Lives Matter where so many lives have been lost this week. I just don't know what to think. Truly, truly heartbreaking whenever a life ends needlessly. It's so sad that so many have to live in fear that because of their occupation or the color of their skin, their lives could end abruptly. The one thing I said about Obama eight years ago was that I thought he might be able to unite our country. The sad truth is that we're more divided than ever. I don't have a solution but it does break my heart.
Anyways. I'm not sure that any of this was blog-worthy but it's what I'm thinking about today. I'm happy to see a few more days tick off the calendar and hope that means I'm that much closer to holding those two babies I love! Time to get the ice cream out of the freezer... Love and hugs to y'all.
Posted by Heather at 1:42 PM
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Almost a full week into July already! Summer is flying by and I couldn't be happier. I so very much hate the heat and humidity - that's one reason I want this Summer to hurry on up - but the biggest reason is that every day we get through gets us one day closer to seeing our sweet baby girl again. I can't even begin to tell you how much it hurts not to see her or even know what is happening in her life. Austin goes to court for the restraining order on July 14th and I can't imagine that it will be anything but dismissed. From there we work on the other details that have to be sorted out. We've done what we can do on our end and now we just wait... and pray... and trust God to protect baby girl and keep her happy and well cared for in the interim.
Today my dad had a colonoscopy. I was the "responsible adult" who accompanied him. They had me sign his discharge papers on a line that said, "signature of responsible adult". I thought that was presumptive. HA! At any rate... It was a very quick procedure. There was a friend of mine from church who was there with her husband while he had the same thing done. She had her kids with her - they're 12 and 8, I think. We kept each other company and the kids hung out with me while she went back to see her husband in recovery. I had a great time with the kids and even brought home a lovely picture that the younger one colored me. Pain wise I was miserable. I got nauseated on the drive home. It's so hard to explain pain that is so bad that it makes you want to throw up but that's my life. But we did it and it's over and Pop is doing fine. Nothing scary found during his procedure.
We had a very quiet 4th of July. Austin worked all weekend and was exhausted when he got home. I've eaten the equivalent of my body weight in watermelon. It's about all I want to eat lately. The guys working on the new porch took the weekend off so we didn't have the construction noise that we've grown accustomed to this Summer. My parents took on a few projects clearing out the storage areas down here to take advantage of the big dumpster while it's here so things got dusty and they got hot and sweaty but... you know me... just trying to avoid pain as much as I can and keep my head screwed on tight and my mouth closed!
We have some of those broken branches on our family tree too and it's always exciting when you can find answers to questions that have haunted you for years. For me it was a paternal grandfather who we lost track of for nearly fifty years. By the time we tracked him down he had deceased. This sweet lady said that her mom had always wondered about her nephew's baby son who was so young when his dad died. I was glad to be able to answer those questions for her.
You can definitely tell from these photos where my kids get their strong brow line! Even the photo of Papa Ned when he was young shows strong brows and I think the babies have them too.
Posted by Heather at 11:42 AM