Monday, January 23, 2017

Spring for a day

Finally I have a photo with her eyes wide open. These are her daddy's eyes minus the long black lashes he had. Her birth hair is falling out but I see little blonde hairs coming in

We took care of her big sister while Hannah went for a weigh in. If she hadn't gained any weight, she would have been hospitalized. However I received a text saying she now weighed 18 oz more in just 36 hours of force feeding her like some French goose. Methinks the scale 36 hours previous was faulty as she had managed to out grow her onesies despite 'losing' weight. Her weight gain was like an adult gaining 25 pounds in the same amount of time.

It's been blissfully warm for the past 3 days here in ex-cancerland. Nice and toasty for the marchers Saturday. Why wasn't I out there with my friends? For one, I thought we might have to be with Allie all day (the mom-in-law was marching in Detroit). Even an ex- co-worker who I will see later in the week marched pushing a walker (needs a hip replacement real soon). I was surprised as I would have guessed she was a Trump supporter but miracles do happen.

Instead I thought I could get away with running on the dirt roads without worrying about ice. But the ground is still frozen with no where for all our recent rain to go. In the sandy sections, it was fine but some of the clay sections were impassable. My feet were mired in what felt like cement.

It was warm enough to bike in shorts the next day. But all this moisture led to a thick fog layer. I kept waiting for it to clear but went out anyway with flashing lights attached to my bike and me. Steve had passed me by car at one point and said I was barely visible. It felt good to be out there. I didn't know I had been in danger until I got home. Today I ran in constant drizzle.

We had two recent hawk visits. A squirrel was busy eating all the seeds the bird dropped. Standing on the ground 5 feet away was the Cooper hawk. I ran to get the camera but it flew away. The squirrel seemed unperturbed. Cooper's hawks prefer birds but this one looked like it was sizing up the squirrel. Then yesterday, we heard a loud bang against the window. I didn't want to look but Steve found the sharp shinned hawk with a chickadee in its talons. Sad but I guess they have to eat too. Why can't it get the sparrows?

One of the squirrels has a broken hind leg. Can it climb to its nest? I let it forage without chasing it away. Another squirrel is losing its hair. We finally have a female red bellied woodpecker here along with the 2 males and a hairy (why the name) woodpecker along with the numerous downies.

While I was in Cancerland, Steve had bought me a beautiful, expensive winter coat. Alas he didn't take into consideration the steroid bloat then my body going to hell and the coat was too small. Naomi quickly took it. I tried it on today finding lots of Naomi's stuff in the pockets including a razor, a huge bottle of foundation and these papers called travel passes. To continue to be on her basketball team, she had to have all her teachers sign off on that her work was up to date. Anyway, today it fits so yay! Especially after I emptied the pockets.

Tonight I get to flash my geezer card at the movie house. Hidden Figures. Sounds promising.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater

We won't throw this precious one out. She is having trouble gaining weight, a big worry
the whole family Allie, age 3, has a head so much bigger than Hannah's. How fast they grow

Who doesn't need a Syrian inlaid walnut jewelry box? I paid just a few dollars for it but on line, I see they go for much, much more

It is so scary when babies don't grow. Although Maya gained weight quickly as a newborn, when she was 9 months, she stopped gaining making the pediatrician worried and we were sent to two different nutrition experts, who had conflicting advice. She was to have more solids. I looked at those 4 oz containers of pureed fruit at 90 calories each. How many would she have to eat to gain a pound? 40? At a year, she weighed less than my kids did at 6 months. Her weight is being monitored now as her medication causes a lack of appetite though the other day, she ate a lot here. She is 3 years older than Allie but weighs only a few pounds more. And she is tall for her age.

But newborns not growing is even more worrisome than a 9 month old or a 6 year old.  If she does not gain weight by Saturday, she will be hospitalized. Very stressful for all involved particularly the mom.

And then there are us who gain just looking at food. After an annoying plateau, the weight is slowly coming off again. Down 34.5 pounds. It might now take to the end of March to make my goal weight but each pound now makes a bigger impact. I bought some intermediate sized clothes that should last until I can fit into my normal weight clothes again.

In a few minutes, our future will darken. All that is good will be thrown out. Regulations that have kept greed in check will be gone. What a mess you rural, uneducated folks have got us into? Of all the cabinet post appointees, only the lady who will be our UN ambassador seemed reasonable. Our local lady who got her fortune via her pyramid scheme company, is one of the worst appointees. I don't want to listen to the news any more as it is so depressing.

How will this affect me? A white retiree with some resources. Personally not much even if they gut social security and medicare. But I have family members that will be severely impacted. And my friends that are self insured will not able to get insurance due to caps and pre-existing conditions.

People have such short memories. Who remembers 2008 and the circumstances that got us into that mess?

It was almost warm enough yesterday for a bike ride. I went anyway though it took a while for my feet to thaw.

Below is Maya's school photo:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The icerain cometh

everything coated with ice
The Asian corner of our bedroom Steve is mad that one of the pictures hangs a bit too low

today's project: decorate a ginger bread house with grandma. $20 kits now $3


The freezing rain was on and off all day yesterday. I thought there was a break in the action so I could go out and see a movie with the Moms. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater..Argo? We saw LaLa Land. Very entertaining. But I went out to a parking lot full of ice. The freeway seemed well salted but the 2 miles of main road leading to our house was an ice rink. Hard to stop and turn into our neighborhood. Fortunately, there are no hills on this stretch and no traffic that late at night. School was cancelled for Ann Arbor (meaning we got Maya while her mom worked) but Shanna's district, abutting ours, had school.

Maya enjoyed the new to her kitchen in our basement and decorating the gingerbread house. Running on glare ice was out of the question but now I have the elliptical trainer. All now is melted but by the end of the day, I have no energy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Taking down Christmas

My new Motawi tiles. A good friend gave me a beautiful Motawi tile for Christmas. Unfortunately, I already had one identical so I went in to exchange it. They were having a close out sale so I was able to get two tiles for the price of one
Hannah and I the other night
freezing rain left sparkly jewels in the early morning sun
ice droplets lit up by the full moon
Allie and Grandpa

I find taking down Christmas decorations much more annoying than putting them up. The two small trees were quickly done; all my extra decorations boxed up. All that is left is the big tree. As I hate balancing on the top of the ladder (we have a very tall tree) I will need Steve's help.

Such strange weather we are having. As I was driving home from the cooking class the other night, suddenly a bright light flashed in my face. Thundersnow! Very impressive lightning especially for this time of year. Then we were coated with ice the next day , which fortunately quickly melted. How long until spring?

I spent a fun 2 hours in the dentist' chair the other day getting 3, yes 3, cavities filled. No cavities for I don't remember and then 3 discovered last August. My insurance was exhausted for the year so I had to wait until now. Still no word whether the dentist office put in the correct code to be reimbursed by my medical insurance.

And those bastards have dismantled the ACA without a replacement in place. For me personally, no skin off my teeth as I get insurance, poorer and poorer, from my former employer but I assume Naomi will lose hers along with many low income people. My friend who was treated for leukemia, is privately insured and went well over the former cap. And as she has a pre-existing condition, good luck finding another insurance company. Her boyfriend actually voted for Trump. I hope at least he will feel guilty contributing to her misery.

Josh enjoyed his peach melba cobbler the other night for dinner. Yes I brought him other stuff. He would not settle for the easier to make crisp.

I have yet to find a fully alert Hannah. Always sleeping when I go to see her.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My private gym

my new elliptical trainer
kitchen for the kids. need to get fake food and dishes
new vase
tiger lily hand made paper
smile or gas?

Now I have no excuse not to exercise because of freezing rain, thigh deep snow and gale force winds (all which we have had in the last month) as we now have the elliptical trainer in the basement along with my  balance balls and weights. I have rubberized floor mats, mainly for the kids, so I can do floor exercises. The fly in the ointment is that the particular muscles I need haven't been used much so I am very slowly increasing my time on it. Further annoyance, I've been so good this week but I don't weigh any less than last week.

Last night was our cooking class "Lentils for Breast Cancer Survivors'. Since Komen funds the class, she has to make some classes specific for breast cancer. How to get protein without meat and without soy? Lentils. The best dish was a pureed soup of red lentils and butternut squash flavored with smoky paprika; the worse was lentil shepherd's pie which was covered with low glycemic (or is it high; I know potatoes are metabolized too quickly) mashed potatoes. I am probably the only one in the world who hates mashed potatoes. Thee was a lentil salad too which at least was healthy.
A yoga class meets right after the cooking class. I talked to the instructor who promises not to be a drill instructor like the lady who made me quit. So I might try her for a while.

Tonight is my night to feed the adult kids. Josh wants a peach melba cobbler which I assume is not on his MIL's list of healthy things to eat. Josh has never been overweight. The rest of the dinner should be healthy though.

Did my parents come and feed me after I had babies? Ha!!!

Little Hannah is happily gaining weight.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Annual Chosen Sisters Christmas Party

ribbon aftermath
Before we opened presents. My tree topping angel, gift of one of the Moms years ago, burnt out the day before. What we forgot to do was have Steve take a photo of us for our 37, yes 37, anniversary of meeting.
unhappy Hannah
Tessa skiing at the Plymouth ice festival. Temp around 10. The Festival is over but I can go see the sculptures until they melt tomorrow
Shanna came with us to the hospital Friday and then went out to eat with us and Josh to the place that has one of the ten best burgers in the US at Josh's request. I took one bite but was content with my much smaller filet mignon sandwich, way decadent enough


Hannah came home Saturday. It has been rough trying to start a good feeding schedule. She looks so small here
We went there yesterday to deliver food. The mother-in-law emailed me to remind me what healthy food was and where I could find it if I wasn't up to preparing it myself. Feeding your children apparently is a life long commitment.  Hmmm, it's a wonder that my kids survived my incompetent parenting

We were to have our Christmas party here a month ago but the big winter storm started that morning and I cancelled. With three of the moms having out-of-state children (I used to be one), it is hard finding a good time but Saturday was it. We started meeting 37 years ago, a post partum support group provided with a facilitator from the Lamaze association. We met weekly for about 2 months then we would be free to meet on our own. There were 7 of us all with little boys except me who had Shanna. Over the years, three of the Moms dropped out though I am still friends with one of them and am in occasional contact with another. I did meet the son of the first dropout who was in tears long ago because this same son was rejecting her breast. He just happened to be at a science fair our company was sponsoring and I recognized his name. My neighbor soon joined us because I made our group sound more fun than her group, which has long since disbanded.

I certainly was not going to find support at work. I worked with men and although I made good friends with them, their eyes would glaze over if I ever talked about kids. The few women there did not have kids with one exception, the lady I had over here last spring. So these women were the ones with whom I shared trials and tribulations of being a mom. As an extra bonus, we all got to see each other's children grow up and attend most of their weddings. There are now 10 wonderful grand babies between the five of us. I have the lion's share for now. The oldest is in high school and the youngest is now 5 days old. As raising children is no longer our central focus, we changed our name to the Chosen sisters.

We have taken vacations together and see each other often outside the confines of the group (the confines being how hard it is to schedule time with busy, travelling people) Lots of sharing.

The hostess makes the main dishes. I do try to make different things. Also, all must be vegetarian though seafood is allowed. For dinner, I made crab cakes, though I might have served them before, Brussels sprouts that I had grown and prepared a month ago and then froze, farro with pesto and sweet potato gnocchi. We all bring wine, I had 2, count them 2, glasses. Two bring
appetizers, another salad and another desserts. For Xmas, we give very precious and thoughtful presents. Lots of fun opening them.

We met a bit before 6 and the last Moms went home well after midnight.

This has not been good for my weight loss. Up to the night of the party, I had been down over 32 pounds. I keep thinking of this program as a giant spring that I keep pulling back and back. As soon as I let go, poof, it all returns. And some did.

Back to being good.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Hannah and her sister

She is listening to some rustling beneath the holly and is ignoring us just on the other side of the window. From her coloring, she is a juvenile. The brown streaks on her chest will fade to orange and her back feathers will turn gray. She is slightly bigger than a blue jay so she is the smallest hawk. Sparrow hawks may be smaller but have been renamed kestrels as they are really falcons

the hawk even ignored squirming Maya trying to get a better look
newborn me. I am Hannah sized. I first thought that this was a nurse in the hospital but where's her cap and why the wood paneling. I do have my beaded id bracelet still on. Now they have lo-jack systems attached which start blaring if they get too close to an elevator

I should be out there running but the new coat of snow and the 2 degrees have made it less inviting. Monday our elliptical trainer arrives so at least I will be a bit more comfortable.

So my bird feeders are  bird feeders in an unwanted sense. Last week the tiny hawk swooped in causing death and havoc though flew off empty billed. She has returned. I saw her swooping down close to our breakfast nook and pointed her out to Steve. At that moment a rabbit raced by.


That's not a hawk, that's a rabbit. Captain Obvious stated.


Could the hawk be chasing a rabbit which must out weigh it by several fold? The bigger red tailed hawk would but the sharp shinned hawk specializes in chasing birds like its bigger lookalike, the Cooper's hawk (whose nest I found and I have photos of the hawks taking turns warming the eggs).

The hawk seemed to be thinking the rabbit was in the underbrush and stayed there for about 5 minutes cocking its head intently Photo op!!!. The rabbit was long since gone. Suddenly it dove down and we heard a squeal. A sparrow had been hiding but managed to escape despite being attacked.  It has come back again. Bird books say take the feeders down for a while and the hawk will hunt elsewhere and the birds will return before it does.

Meanwhile the squirrel is too fat or the pole too slippery for it to reach the feeder. It's fun watching it try.

As said many times before, I hate winter. It is screwing with my exercise routine. I went out the other day in minus 5 windchills. I did manage to lose a bit over a pound since New Year's Eve but very slow. I think I am over the half way mark finally.

We will visit Hannah this morning. Hopefully she will be awake. 

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