Thursday, February 18, 2021


 It's too bad that word is the reason for so many problems, because I hate being tied to my phone.  Since I'm tied to people and places who don't read email or so many that depend on reaching me by phone, I feel a little out of sorts.

I stayed with Katherine most of the day yesterday, and we had another great day.  I used my phone only for a couple of phone calls, checking on my appointment times for the rest of the week, and then letting Kate "color" on my Happy Color app while we waited for Mom to get home.

When Emily brought me home, she drove me down the parkway to get a better view of the new snow on the mountains.  I got out my phone to take a picture and saw that it was turning off.  I guess that one app had just drained the 100% battery power I had had all day.

Or something.  I will never be on top of this phone knowledge.  I need one, and other people need me to have one, but I want only to do phone calls, texts, emails, a few apps, and store my pictures.

So now the only way I have to communicate is by email or by asking Elise to call someone for me or receive calls.  It will probably get tricky when I get through with PT today and need my ride to pick me up at the door.  Luckily, Emily is right around the corner and can probably do it for me.  Otherwise, I'll just go downstairs and sit in the waiting room and hope Elise will appear at the pickup place.

That and leftover snow are enough to make it not a good Thursday so far.

I know Ryan will have me another phone on the way soon, but I also know there will be a learning curve.  I've been perfectly happy with my Android, but they're talking about my "needing" an iPhone.  Do I really?  I don't know, but we'll see.

Just a few pictures from yesterday, and then I have my Thursday to tackle.

The only alone time she had all day - when I received a phone call.  That pile of Legos intimidates me, but both girls get so excited when they sit down to create their little scenes.

After cracking up over my using the unicorn's tail as a motor to rescue the mermaid from the lake, she said, "I'm speechless."

It was the first time all day she was speechless though.  To tell her tales better, she likes room to walk in circles and use her body language.

Playing school was a good idea.  She likes to be the teacher, and I like to see how much havoc I can create in the classroom by giving outrageous answers and testing her patience.

Look at that sunshine!  She seems to have only two attentive students left.

It was "Pajama Day" today.  All day.  

And it's time for me to get on with my day.  I'm going to be sure to take ibuprofen today and try to impress Laura with my wall walks.  Tomorrow is another followup with the surgeon, so I'm sure she will be pushing me for good measurements.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

My Afternoon with Katherine

 It has been almost exactly a year since our lives were changed over his pandemic, and it's now become a part of our history.  Our family has been lucky not to have anyone affected by Covid, although we have lost some acquaintances and know families who are having a really hard time.  

The one good thing to come out of it is how well the girls - and lots of children, I think - have adjusted to wearing masks, caring for other people, making their own entertainment when friends aren't available, and embracing better family dynamics.  When you're all you've got, you make adjustments to make life better.  I'm so proud of Emily and Ryan for their decisions and their sacrifices and for their little "school" family that has seemed to carry them through this year.

While I've loved that they're coping so well, I have struggled with not seeing them, not being a part of their everyday lives, and feeling a little redundant.  Since my accident, I've had a lot of feeling sorry for myself and just wondering how long this phase is going to last.

But yesterday was hopefully the first of many fun times and getting back to normal.  

I'm one week today out from my second vaccine with no reactions or side-effects (so far), and we feel like we can lighten up a little bit.  

Graysen has a 2-day class this week for parkour since this is a school holiday.  A good many students are going back in person this week, and the others are continuing with virtual learning.  We're part of the latter group.  I'm not sure what will happen in the fall.  

I'm still not sure exactly what that parkour is, but it's something she's been excited about for years.  It wasn't offered to under-6's, so that left Katherine to hang out with Dad all day, who is in the middle of remodeling what seems like a big portion of their house.  It was possible, but it seemed like a perfect opportunity to get us back in the groove of togetherness.  She's been talking about it for a week, and Graysen may have been a little sad not to be a part of it.  She'll get her time soon, and we'll make it so special.

It was a hard morning for me, getting to PT with the piles of snow and the ice left in the parking lots and on the streets, but we pulled it off and got that over with.  Even though I forgot to take my ibuprofen, the exercises were bearable, and I actually made a little progress.  As much as I enjoy Laura and Proliance, I will not be sorry to finish those twice-a-week visits and hearing, "Okay, let's start with lying on your left side and lifting your arm straight up."  It sounds a lot easier than it is, and there's not one of them I do without some sort of grimace.  Thank goodness for masking here!

That was over by 11:45, and I picked up my barley shoulder warmer and headed to Steller Way.

It was so touching that Katherine had taken all their teeth-brushing and hand-washing timers and lined them up on the window waiting for my arrival.  

And then to hear the feet pounding on the stairs and "Mimi, Mimi!"  AND the hugs.  So precious and long overdue.

Emily said she had worked on decorating her bed for me, and there was so much to take in.  All the old familiar stuffies and some new ones and new posters and stories.  It's unusual for her to be away from her sister and not be interrupted, so there was a LOT of talking.  I enjoyed every bit of it.

The first thing we did when we went back downstairs was to choose a game.  Katherine knows which games she understands well and is good at, so she chose Chutes and Ladders.  She's doing better with her ability to not win every game - or every spin - and it was a lot of fun, especially since she did win.  

She had already had lunch, but I had skipped breakfast and lunch, so I went poking around for something to eat.  Vegan people need to label their refrigerator containers.  I'm sure there was lots of good food in there, but I didn't recognize very much.  I ended up sharing an apple with Kate and having some crackers and 100% vegan cheese.  It might have been because I was extra hungry, but that was a nice lunch.  We later had a gingersnap for a snack.  Tomorrow I'm packing me a lunch and taking some coffee.  I've never taken the time to learn how to operate their fancy coffee makers!

Then it was puzzle time - a double-sided one.  Cats on one side and dogs on the other.  

A bonus was a photo display portrait of Griffin and Jack from several years ago.  We do miss the big brothers to these girls.

And we worked hard and got that puzzle done.  I wasn't rushing it, because I like puzzles better than crafts and was quite content spending my time on that.

There was a brief break for cooling off in the snow barefoot.  She said it didn't bother her. "You know, Mimi, I runned out in the snow nek-kid one night."  That might be TMI.  I was glad she didn't want to linger.

With an hour left, we ventured back upstairs to play with the Lottie dolls.  That mainly consisted of me sitting in the glider with my shoulder wrap and offering to dress the dolls for her.

I love these little dolls and accessories.  I gave them a few dolls, the boat and camping set, and the treehouse a couple of years ago.  I wasn't sure they were going to like them at first, but lately they seem to be more interested.  It's a nice company with dolls designed by children, and they focus on talents and careers and lots of stuff besides just dressing up.

I just re-discovered their activity pages and plan to copy some coloring pages or other fun things for today.

The pink lake and the multicolored rocks.

They are tiny little dolls, almost too small to enjoy dressing yet, but I think they're enjoying them.  I'll have to see about adding another adventure the next gift-giving occasion.  This might have been a better choice for Graysen than a stuffed dog with unicorn hooded shirt.  But maybe not.  She seemed to love it.  

That was a fun way to spend my afternoon.  I may or may not have fallen asleep - more than once - in my chair in the middle of pulling on doll leggings, but Katherine thought it was hilarious.  

Looking forward to many more playtimes with these precious girls!  

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Sledding 2021

 I was going to try to see if I could post some of the sledding videos from today and accidentally chose this awkward but precious little video of Graysen when she was just learning to sit up.  She's come a long way, but this still makes me laugh.   Such a little bird.

If this works, I'll add some more.  They had an excellent day. I'm not quite sure how they took that cold and wind in their faces, but they obviously had a ball, parents and children alike.  What a fun day!

I'm glad most of them are in slow motion, even with the dinosaur voices!

Hungry Hummingbirds

 I haven't noticed a lot of hummingbirds lately, but this morning they were out flying around and getting frustrated over their frozen breakfasts.

Elise thawed it for them and made some new and took these pictures that her dad would have been proud of.

And some Valentine flowers from the Win-Bins.  We really love these little bouquets.  So sweet.

Graysen's Birthday Weekend - and Snow!

 None of us can believe this girl is 8 years old.  I've pretty much missed a whole year of her life, but she remains still the light of my life (one of them!) and a joy when I do get to see her.  I'm still waiting for lots of pictures, so I'll come back and plug them in when I get them.  Or do a whole separate post.

Elise gave her an astronaut Barbie, and she was thrilled with it.  For Christmas, she had gotten an astronomer Barbie and Kate an archeologist Barbie.  They've got the A careers covered quite nicely!

I so far haven't received a picture of Boo the Pomeranian that was my gift to her, but here she is reading me the book about Jiffpom - another Pomeranian - after she got home.

Going back to Thursday....  It was a day that I wasn't much looking forward to with a freshly vaccinated arm and only one day since the last PT, but it passed without incident and tolerable pain.

Emily and I stayed connected about any symptoms, but I had nothing interesting to offer.  When I got to PT, I think I was somewhat of an anomaly.  Almost everyone on the staff had had some sort of reaction to both vaccines, and they are all young!  I felt bad breezing in without one complaint - but not TOO bad.  I think I did better with PT too, because I was working hard to get out of there that day and home to my long weekend where I could be left alone!

The worst exercise I have seems so simple.  I just stand in front of a wall and put my palms outstretched on the wall.  Even that little motion is agonizing on the right.  But that's not enough.  Then I have to walk my fingers up the wall as high as I can get.  It's the only one so far that almost makes me cry.  I gritted my teeth Thursday and went up about 10 to 12 counts, which got a compliment from Laura.  But wow!  I'm making myself try it every time I see a wall, and I can still go up, but just starting out I have to do those deep breaths and psych myself up.  

I'm beginning to resent this man's smug little smirk!

Some of the other things are falling into place better, but I have to do 30 counts AFTER I feel discomfort, so nothing is really fun.  Everyone told me it would be hard, especially with the rotator cuff involved, so I'm working hard to be better by spring.

I'm already going to keep Katherine a couple of days next week since Graysen has parkour classes.  I don't like to think about what that involves.  Piano seems much nicer to me, but she's excited!  I'm not sure what two days are involved, but I do hope we can get outside.

After the weekend we're having, I don't have too much hope for the weather.  I never do until May anyway, but this was a wild weekend with 67 MPH winds on the Ridge and lots of snow.  It didn't look very deep because the wind would blow the snow off the ground and into high drifts, leaving ice on the surfaces.  Because of that, the snowplows weren't able to manage the streets well, and we were pretty much all trapped inside.  Lots of trees fell on house, and fences were knocked down.  Our balcony, which usually doesn't get wet or snowy under the worst circumstances, was quite covered.

But we had power!!

Layla wasn't sure what to make of this unusual ice formation.  She took a few bites of it to check it out.  Elise coaxed her out long enough for her to decide that wasn't good for kitty paws.  She leapt around a little bit and then popped right back in.

I'm not sure there are many children who complain about the snow, even if it wasn't ideal for building snowmen or playing.  The drift beside my car was almost deep enough for sledding.

We celebrated Graysen's birthday on Friday night at the apartment, because it was looking like snow for sure on Saturday, and there was.  It was just a special night with no masks - and we really shouldn't have relaxed that much, even with the vaccine.  Those sweet real kisses though!  And forward hugs!  I'll gather those photos from someone, since my camera died after one.

  Her little party at home went on as usual, and the Wheat family - their schoolmates Harper and Ellis - spent the day with them.  I know there was Mod pizza - vegan - and peanut butter pie from the recipe from the Original Oyster House in Mobile - balloons, games, crafts, and much more fun. Like a blizzard hot tub experience.

For a little bit more fun, they're all headed to the school for some sledding this afternoon.  Such a special birthday.  

We're always missing Mike, and this picture popped up in my memories from a few years ago.  I think this is just how he would have reacted at seeing those hot tub pictures.  Or he probably would have been in there with them.