My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

When Ollie Met Cosette

From the day after Thanksgiving last year when we found out Marquee was pregnant, bringing my 2015 Grandbaby Total to two, I have been excited about the future relationship between those little cousins.

I have a lot of cousins, dozens of cousins - and that's just the first cousins - when you factor in the second cousins and first cousins once removed and spouses of cousins... I have a lot of cousins. Just. A lot. My cousins have been my siblings without the rivalry. They have been a source of wisdom for me. They have helped me understand family characteristics and idiosyncrasies. They remind me of family history. They have shared the happiest and saddest moments of life with me.

While I have a lot of cousins that I've been in contact continuously throughout my life, I also have cousins that I have only connected with through social media. Maybe we had seen each other at the occasional funeral or rare reunion, these cousins were just not around as much as others. This makes it really important to me that my grandchildren have a solid relationship.

The thing is... my grandchildren live about a hundred miles apart. Out of the grandbaby parents, only one out of four drives. Two of the parents work long hours and don't have a lot of free time. I haven't been comfortable driving for long distances for awhile. I pretty much leave the house to go to the doctor or the grocery store or the pharmacy and that's about it. Out of the three cars here, there have been times over the past two months (since Ollie was born) that we have only had one car working while the other car was in the shop. (one car is waiting to either have a lot of money thrown at it or be taken to the dump). So taking off for a road trip to OllieLand hasn't been very easy. Getting everybody in the same space was next to impossible.

Since Ollie's mommy has severe allergies, especially to cats, their doctor has advised them not to expose Ollie to cats until he's older. I know there has been some new studies in the media lately that indicates the earlier exposure makes them less likely to have allergies, but we feel more comfortable limiting Ollie's exposure to my kitties until he's old enough to take benedryl if he does have a reaction. I don't like it, of course, because I want to gather all my little birdies into the same nest, but I'm working hard to be patient. And of course, I don't want Ollie to be uncomfortable. There are just so many roadblocks in getting those baby cousins together!

Cosette was amazed at Uncle Cody!
Finally... last Saturday... we decided to get together to celebrate Mawmaw and Pop's birthday at a restaurant that was not so far away from us that the drive would be awful. Austin had to work so he still hasn't gotten to meet Ollie (and he's really bummed about that) but the rest of us, including Jim and Angie and the girls, were available for lunch. We went to O'Charleys... a decent but not terribly expensive restaurant. They were really good to give us an entire section of the restaurant so we could move around and pass babies and not annoy other diners. The pictures from that lunch are scattered throughout this post.

My Nana heart is content for now. It is HARD to split time evenly between babies. Part of the time Ollie was nursing... and since Austin wasn't with us I tried to hold Cosette enough that Tasha would be able to enjoy her lunch. (I barely ate a thing... brought almost the entire meal home with me!) Ollie is lighter but Cosette holds on better. I tried hard to just hold babies and not worry about the pain. I'm still paying for that! They're too young to interact much yet but they did notice each other... and... yeah. That's what happened.

In other news this week... I went to the dentist last Thursday and am returning today to see what treatment plan he has for me. Last week they did a lot of xrays and pictures and made molds. The dentist wanted to take the time to review it all and come up with a treatment plan that would be the most affordable and longest lasting. He's a sweetheart and plays the same Contemporary Christian radio station that I normally listen to in the car. That helps. He offered me pain meds last week but I told him I didn't need it yet.

I've started my Christmas shopping which feels AMAZING!
Ollie reaches out for sleeping Cosette
We cleaned out Austin's room and turned it into the Cat Room - with their litter boxes and food bowl in there and out of my living room. I'm trying to have all my kitchen stuff in one corner and have a play area for the grandbabies. I say "we" but Austin did the heavy lifting and my mom spent HOURS in there cleaning and organizing. I just pointed where things should go.
Austin also built my new craft shelf that has nine little cubbies in it. I bought six baskets to tuck things away and make them more easily accessible for me and the nieces and less accessible for Miss Cosette who will be mobile before long!
I'm having more trouble getting around which is frustrating (and painful). In a way I feel like I need to do all the things that I want to do before I can't get around . But then I do one thing or another and spend several days recovering.
I discovered Amazon Prime Pantry this week. If you're a Prime member you can fill a 45 lb box of "pantry items" for 5.99 shipping. I bought cereal, breakfast bars, gatorade (too heavy for me to lift) cat litter, advil, vitamins, burt's bees stuff, oreos, v-8 juice. My mailman probably hates me. I also ordered cat litter - under Prime it has no delivery charge.

AND... I guess that's about all for now! Hope you're having a great week! Love and hugs!

Pictures continued below....

 What just happened? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Unfortunate Incident At Old Navy

I have been known to describe a bit of over-indulging as an "unfortunate incident". For example, my mom will say, "do you have any chocolate?" and I'll say, "I did but there was an unfortunate incident with the butterfingers." The unfortunate incident, of course, is the fact that once I start indulging I JUST CAN'T STOPPPPPPP!!

So when I say that there was an Unfortunate Incident at Old Navy, what I really mean is that I overindulged in purchasing things. You see, Old Navy and I go way back. They make their clothes a little bit bigger so you can wear a smaller size that you would with another clothing line. I know it's not a "real" size but it makes me feel better. Their style is very much my style... classic cardigans that match every outfit, soft, comfy clothes. I used to describe my work wardrobe as "business comfy". My wardrobe now is just one step up from things you sleep in... in fact... I generally get dressed right when I wake up and wear that same outfit all the way until the next day when I get up. Cozy, comfy, soft... that's my style. 

I've tried to think of another time I've done a shopping spree for me. My big purchases usually only happen around Christmas and are not at all about me. I do have periodic splurges at the thrift store when I'll come out with twenty or so new pieces to add to my wardrobe for maybe $50 but a proper "all about me" trip for new clothes? Never in my life. My wardrobe was showing some wear and tear. It's not a style thing for me because ... nobody rocks the yoga pants and baggy tshirt like this girl! But I was always afraid I was going to end up on the "People of Walmart" website. The struggle is real. 

The Unfortunate Incident at Old Navy began after the witching hour - which means I'd had all of my night time meds and was just this side of Michael Jackson's last nap. There was a clearance site! There were lots of the things that I really, really love wearing... the tunics, the long tshirts, the big hoodie sweatshirts that I live in during the Winter. There was a coupon code! There was free shipping! They had lots of things in my size... and I ... bought everything I wanted. I ended up with ... brace yourself... this is insane... I'm so embarrassed... I ended up with 22 new tops for me. Granted, these are mostly all "layerable" (is that a real word?) like long sleeved shirts to go under short sleeved shirts so I don't get too chilly in the Whine Cellar. They're all incredibly soft and I cleaned out my dresser to make room for all these new! fabulous! wardrobe pieces!!

But wait! That's not all! I bought a pair of really comfy "lounge wear" pants that ended up being too long for me so I'm gonna pass them to Tasha. I bought a little something for my two older boys so that we can be triplets (wanna guess which one? Hint: my boys don't usually wear pink.) I bought 5-6 onesies for each baby... Cosette got a Halloween themed one, Oliver got a Disney themed one since he's having his first trip to Disney in October. I purchased every single onesie that said either "Nana loves me" or "I love my Nana" because proper brainwashing starts young. And they each got a set of three in the appropriate color for their gender because I also do gender stereotyping with my offspring at least until they have hair and you can tell that they are male or female. 

This isn't all of them! 

Ultimately I ended up with about 36 pieces for a grand total of $363, including tax. It was a lot of stuff but it was reasonably priced. The most expensive things were the two hoodies at about $20 each. It was stuff that I will get years of use out of - my two favorite sweatshirts have been with me for 9 and 12 years each. I just feel so guilty about splurging like that! 

AND WAIT... that's not all! I also have two orders on the way from Zulily that include another 4 or 5 shirts for me and a pair of leggings AND a pair of furry lined crocs so I can part with my Gator ones and fulfill my Grandchild Clause (switching allegiances from University of Florida to Florida State since my sons are huge Florida State fans). I also picked up a few things in Walmart last week. It's been a crazy week of indulgence but that's all for me, for now. Except the tv. I'm still shopping for a tv. The craft shelf I've already ordered (to get all the markers, crafty things and thread up off the floor before a grandchild or two gets mobile) comes on Friday. And that's it. Until I start my Christmas shopping. 

So that's my confession about the Unfortunate Incident at Old Navy. This would be a great time for you to share your own stories of overindulgence with me. Tell me I'm not the only one to do this? Anyone? Bueller? 

More to share in a later blog that I PROMISE will be sooner than 8 days away! Love and hugs, y'all. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Walmart Haul

 I should write a proper post but I'm worn out. I finally got to have a big shopping spree. It's been so long I've never been able to just go and get all the things I want/need at one time. This won't happen often... may not ever happen again in my lifetime... but it was SO. MUCH. FUN!

We started the day at Starbucks because... I mean... pumpkin spice latte season! This picture is Cosette waiting in front of the Starbucks stall while her daddy pays for all of our beverages (with Nana's money.) Which reminds me, there are a few phrases that always get a smile out of Cosette. One of them is "pretty". Another is "money". If you say, "do you want to go spend daddy's money?" Big grin. Ditto for "do you want to go spend Nana's money?". She's no fool.
I did not buy this hat but in retrospect, I like the way it looks on me and might go back and get it.

Austin, Tasha and Cosette went along with me - which I guess you can tell by the pictures. I've got a bad case of Pain Brain right now so I'm not articulating well. This is really more of a photo dump than a legit blog post. We took a long time and made a good circle of the Super Walmart. I had a decent list of what I wanted/needed but I also picked up several "just because I can" items.

No trip to Walmart would be complete without Austin winding up wind-up toys. If it makes noise or moves... he's like a two year old - a two year old who can reach everything. This was a race between the Halloween decorations. Those two by the cart ended up in an inappropriate position.

I don't get out much.
 For the win! 
Cosette stole her daddy's hershey bar!
Posing for picture with the chocolate in the frozen foods section. Living la vida loca! And how long are her legs? She did have pink tights on with her little tutu dress but they were lost in the mayhem.
My Walmart haul. I didn't do a great job of displaying it but I was dog tired and in a heckuva lot of pain when I was doing it. Two little Halloween outfits for Cosette... Halloween socks for the nieces... two pair of my favorite Danskin yoga pants and a new top... unmentionables... socks... gatorade... embroidery thread... treats for the cats... toys for the dogs... lean cuisines... pampers and wipes because my descendants use a lot of those.. a big bag of Halloween candy...  lots of fun stuff. I went on an internet shopping spree yesterday and got lots of clothes for me and the babies. Not bragging, just sharing because y'all have been so supportive!

After allllllll that shopping we came home and got in some quality time with my little princess while her dad did some yard work. She has SO MUCH personality! She can go from being silly to throwing a full-blown fit. Baby Girl is STRONG so when I say she THROWS a fit, she really throws it!

She nearly propelled herself right off of my lap! 


 She has learned to blow kisses... and raspberries. She studies your mouth really intently and tries to mimic what you're doing. I don't remember what age they're supposed to be able to do that but I didn't think it was this young. 

 She's also really flexible. 

Talk about putting your foot in your mouth! 

 She screamed bloody murder when Jamie tried to give her a cuddle after school. Cosette is so passionate in her displeasure that you can't help but laugh! 

In other news I got my Medicare card in the mail yesterday and signed up for my prescription drug plan. Makes me feel like I need to join AARP or something. I'm just so grateful to have health insurance. I'm still shocked that all of this worked out for me. I'm going to the dentist tomorrow to get an estimate on getting some issues sorted out. Not looking forward to it, grateful to be able to do it. 

Life is good. Love and hugs, y'all! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Full Of Possibility

Hello September. Mid-September. Sorry to be MIA again. I would tell you that I've been too busy to blog but we all know that's not true, don't we? I can't even say that there hasn't been anything blog-worthy to share because I'm still on the same side of the ground as you are so... there's life happening, at the very least. I won't even say that it's due to pain (though it's a good excuse reason). I'm just kind of a "get it all out in the open" girl and there are a couple of issues I'm dealing with that I can't speak about as candidly as I would, if I could. And I hate... I mean H.A.T.E. when people do that whole "vague-booking" thing where they'll drop some breadcrumbs to get people to ask what's going on... I'm a drama Queen (capital Q) but still... I either say it all or don't say anything. It's nothing earth-shattering just "not my story to tell" kind of stuff. Since I always blog from the perspective of "life in my orbit" it's hard to remember to keep out the stuff in my orbit that really isn't about me.

How cute is this little ham?

But I CAN tell you all about the check that came in the mail from Social Security on Saturday... that my mom and I rushed to the bank, praying they would be open on a holiday weekend Saturday (and they were). Talking about money is tacky. Well... maybe not talking about it per se but BRAGGING about it is definitely tacky. So I'm not going to give the dollar figure but I'm just going to say that I got a check for about the same amount as I made annually and I was happy, SO HAPPY with that amount, even knowing I was going to have to pay the lawyer with about 25% of it. AND THEN... I found out that the lawyer's cut was already taken before my check was calculated so that whole big check was all MINE! I mean, all mine from the sense that I will be taking care of things that have been set to the side (dental work) (car repair) and spoiling all those that are mine as much as I can.

She is all about the toes these days!

The truth is... I can't think of another time in my life when I had this much disposable income. Any slight windfall I would get from ... tax returns or bonuses or what-have-you... had to go into paying past due bills or buying shoes for kids and so forth. I've waited long and suffered hard for that chunk of change. I'm not going on a crazy spending spree or anything - I mean, you know, beyond reason but Nana needs a wardrobe revamp! What has been fun for me with having money in the bank is the possibilities it gives. I'm not buying a new car BUT I COULD! I'm not going on a three week vacation in Europe BUT I COULD! I'm not getting a brand new tv for my living room... well, I probably am. I mean... I've got this huge old ugly thing that was a hand-me-down from that unhappy union from  a few years back. The point is that I CAN!  Among the responsible spending/saving I'm going to do, there will definitely be some fun money involved and I'm having a blast contemplating all those possibilities.

Besides all of that ... my medicare is in effect starting September 1st. I had hoped to have it by October but it's already there! And the monthly benefit amount that I thought was going to be diminished by medicare part b premiums... nope. The monthly amount is AFTER the medicare comes out. It's like God has been Don Pardo in the game show of my life saying, "AND THAT'S NOT ALL... " because it keeps getting better and better!

In other news... pumpkin spice lattes are out now and I know some of you are TIRED of hearing about PSL but this girl has been crazy broke for the past four years and is gonna drink pumpkin spice lattes until I turn orange!

Ultimately, and not to end on a sad note but the truth is that getting a big check when you don't feel like going anywhere or doing anything is bittersweet. I have struggled to get out and about and beyond the confines of my nest lately. I picked up Austin, Tasha and Cosette today and got to spend time hanging out with them. We are so lucky that Austin is willing to spend his time off helping accomplish tasks around the house. I don't say it enough... he's working so hard and doing such a great job being a dad and taking care of his family - even his mom and grandparents. So we had a good time today and got a nice swing set up on my patio which is probably going to be screened in very soon. POSSIBILITIES! I took a bunch of pictures of Cosette because she is just so durn cute! Those of you who know Austin in real life (and those of you who have been blog friends for the past almost 11 years) will see a lot of Austin in her.

And this picture of Oliver from today, I think, shows a lot of Cody in him than at first. He hasn't been able to come visit Nana in her natural habitat yet, which translates into a random shot of him here or there instead of the dozens of photos I take of  Cosette. I'm not playing favorites, promise! I love him so much! So proud of all my kids and grandkids!

Love and hugs everybody!

A few more of Cosette from today if you're interested... it's probably overload for anyone other than me and my mom but... here you go! That's still her doll Eponine in the pictures. She loves Eponine so much that her mom got her a spare just in case we can't find Eponine. She's known as Eponine's understudy.