Friday, August 30, 2013

August 26 - 31, 2013 - SF

Friday, August 30.  Not much has gone on this week other than keeping up with Charlotte, a couple of walks to the playground, and story time at the library. I've learned that it is not good to go to the playground before 10 am as it is still pretty foggy and everything is wet.  Jill's headaches are back with a vengeance and she is confined to the sofa most of the day.  Charlotte had a bad cold and cough and hasn't felt too good for a couple of days, although her temperament has been good and she has been even more interested in reading stories.

I did some shopping on Wednesday when Charlotte was in day care.  I finally decided on a birthday gift for her and had to go to Corte Madera to pick it up.  It is a diaper bag for her baby doll, complete with a changing mat, diapers, blanket, and bottle.  She plays with her doll every day and lately has been wrapping her up in dish towels.  She takes good care of her and I think she will be helpful with the twins.

Since Jill is feeling so awful, I offered to take her to her doctor appointments today.  It's a good thing I did because while she was having her non-stress test, they thought they detected a slight decrease in heart rate for Baby A and we were off to the hospital.  Her headache is so bad that I got a wheelchair to get her into the hospital, then met her up in Labor and Delivery.  After close monitoring for about 2 hours, all is well, both babies have strong heartbeats and it may have been the equipment at the other place.  She was also offered a medication that might help the headaches and she plans to try it in the morning.  What a day!  The good part - I got to see the twins on the ultrasound.  One is head down and the other is head up, although they move around a lot.  One rather identifiable feature they both have is chubby cheeks like Charlotte.

Saturday, August 31.  Yesterday morning, we decided to try to get a plan together for meals over the weekend and started with the grocery list during and right after breakfast.  Then, it was off to the playground so the dogs could get a walk and Charlotte could get some exercise and be around kids.  The time got away from us and befor we knew, it was lunchtime.  We scurried back home and got C fed and ready for her nap.  Although she was resting when I walked out of her room, it wasn't long and she was jumping around in her crib like a little wild child.  Needless to say, she got no nap and we got her up after this went on for a little more than an hour.

Ben got the groceries and while he was gone, I made a batch of granola.  Then when he got home it was time to make dinner, pork tenderloin.  

Another full day.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 19 - 25, 2013 - SF

Monday, August 19.  This is a week of many birthdays, starting with my Number 1 Son, Pat, who turns 44 today - does that make me feel old!  And I'm sad that I'm not able to be with him to celebrate that wonderful day in my life and all of the joy that he has brought to me through the years.  Happy, Happy Birthday,  Pat!

Charlotte was testy today - there is no other word for it.  She whined about everything, tested the limits, was fussy about eating, and just plain testy.  Jill and I took her to Cabrillo playground where she was actually quite adventurous - she climbed up the hill to the slide for the first time (previously only would take the steps), wandered off by herself to ride a tricycle, and stood on the first rung of a ladder - all things that she has been timid about in the past.

I made a pot of Minestrone soup for dinner but Charlotte wouldn't touch it.  When Ben got home, he ate and then got started on making a Saurkraut Chocolate Cake for Jill's birthday tomorrow.  We finally got to bed right around 11:00 and they had to head to the hospital because Jill was having contractions and they were pretty regularly timed.  It is way too early for those babies to be born - she is at 30 weeks and they want her to get to at least 34.

Ben called me at 3:30 to let me know that the contractions have slowed, but she will be there for at least 48 hours, as they will be giving her steroid treatments to help prevent the babies from having respiratory problems, as their lungs are not fully developed yet.  All else is looking good.

Tuesday, August 20.  Happy Birthday, Jill and Mom Bridge.  What a night!  Thank God Charlotte was a good girl for me today as I am still under the weather with this crud - now I have almost no voice at all.  It was a challenge walking both dogs this morning and pushing C in the stroller, but they all cooperated.  I took the dogs back home and then she and I went to the playground for an hour.

There were no new developments with Jill, thankfully.  What a way to spend your birthday.  Ben came home to pick up some needed items when C was napping and that kind of limited my napping ability - I probably wouldn't have been able to sleep anyway.

Other than a tantrum at dinner time, the evening went well and we had lots of fun.  I'm hitting the sack early and hoping for a restful nights of good sleep.  I really need it tonight.

Wednesday, August 21.  I awoke in a panic this morning, as my left eye has been draining and is bridght red and puffy - is it the dreaded pink eye? Then I realized that I accidentally left Charlotte's bedroom door open last night and she heard me and woke up when I went in the bathroom, so I didn't get the quiet, early start to my day that I was hoping for.  Not a problem since she is off to daycare after breakfast.  And I am off to walk the dogs after dropping her at daycare.  

Then I am off to see a doctor after walking the dogs.  This crud I have is persistent  and not wanting to let up and I am really worried about this awful eye and I sound like there are many frogs in my throat.  I went to the clinic in Corte Madera where I went 2 years ago but learned that they do not accept Medicare and it would cost me $189  just to see someone.  They suggested an urgent care clinic in San Rafael, so I headed farther north.  I was in and out quickly with prescriptions to clear up the sinus infection that I was diagnosed with, and it is NOT pink eye but a result of the sinus infection.

After a nap, I had several phone conversations with family and then decided to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful day.  The dogs were eager for a walk, so we did the El Camino Del Mar loop that goes along the coast and is gorgeous.  It was a perfect kind of day and the fresh air probably did some good.

Ben and Jill came home from the hospital tonight with good news that labor has stopped and Jill is actually feeling pretty good.  They got favorable news in that chances are good for the twins, even if they are determined to come early.  The best thing right now is for them to stay where they are for a few more weeks.

Thursday, August 22.  I'm feeling a little better but my throat is still scratchy and I have very little voice. I didn't feel comfortable taking Charlotte to the library this morning (my eye still looks awful)), so we walked to Sutro Park, about a mile away toward the coast.  My intention was to play in the park for a bit and then check out the new overlook that was recently built.  Just the thought of the hills going back made me change my mind and we just headed back home.

I took a nap after C went down and I woke up remembering this crazy dream I was having.  Now, I don't usually remember dreams but this one was vivid - and I have actually had the same dream in the past.  I am in a single story building with connected units, and I keep opening doors and finding that it is not the right door.  There are strangers in every one, with luggage and party stuff scattered about and I wake up frustrated that I never open the right door.  How weird is that?

Friday, August 23.  Mike would be turning 66 today and Jill's brother, Casey, would be turning 36.  How sad that they were both way to young to stop celebrating birthdays. I love and miss you, Mike.

Now, there is good news - we have another birthday to celebrate on this day every year.  My niece, Amber, gave birth to an 8 pound, 14 ounce baby girl this morning and her name is Harlow MaryLee.  Mom and baby are doing well.  Congratulations and welcome to the world, little girl!

My sister, Rene, also has a new addition to her family.  A calico kitten named Callie Bridget (named after Mike). Sweet.

I did some grocery shopping this morning and since it was cleaning day, Jill and I vacated the house and ran errands this afternoon.  The girl is having a real hard time walking, as her belly is so big and heavy.

Saturday, August 24.  A couple of weeks ago, I bought a Groupon deal for Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay, a petting zoo that I thought Charlotte would love.  Ben and I took her there this morning.  She was all excited about going and we got there just before the rush.  The only animals that you could pet were the goats and she was a little timid at first and wouldn't go near them.  After we took a train ride and a hay ride, she gained courage and loved feeding them.  We had fun but thought it would be nice to go to the beach to eat our lunch and that was a good choice because she absolutely loves it!  

She giggled the entire time that Ben was covering her up with sand.

I made Lime Chicken Tacos for dinner tonight and they were a big hit.  We're learning that C eagerly eats anything that comes wrapped in a tortilla shell.

Sunday, August 25.  Wow!  Another week just flew by.  Friends of Ben and Jill's, Kerry and Joan and their 2 kids, Henry and Penelope joined us for a pancake breakfast this morning.  The kids had a great time playing together and their parents had some time to catch up too.

When C went down for her nap, Ben and I took the dogs for a long walk so we don't have to do it later and can just stay home and watch Breaking Bad.  It was foggy but warm and I had to shed my jacket. 
I spotted this gorgeous Rose while in our walk and couldn't resist stopping to t are a photo

We both laid down for naps when we got back home, the house was so nice and quiet.  But I couldn't sleep - just got all emotional and overwhelmed with sadness every time I closed my eyes - I guess it's best to  just stay awake today.  

It wasn't long before C woke up and then the sadness disappears.  Although she has a cold and I think the stuffiness got to her and she was crying silently too.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 12 - 18, 2013 - SF

Thursday, August 15.  It's Thursday morning already and I can't believe how fast this week has gone by.  The days that Charlotte is at home are pretty busy and are structured pretty well so she gets some activities, regular meals and snacks, story time, play time and nap time (when we also try to nap or just have some quiet time).  This week's activities were a trip to California Academy of Sciences, walks to the neighborhood playground, and story time at the library today.  Jill has not been feeling very good at all, is suffering from migraine-like headaches and having episodes of nausea, apparently all pregnancy related.  So I'm hoping that I can help enough to allow her plenty of rest when she needs it.

Yesterday, I did the grocery shopping and made a trip to Costco after taking Charlotte to daycare. I have been looking forward to doing some shopping but when I had the opportunity, I really didn't have any interest.  I came home and took Frisco for a nice walk and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.  For dinner we had grilled chicken and zucchini kebabs with a mint-feta sauce - quite an and easy and very tasty recipe.

This afternoon, Jill pulled out a dress that her mom made for her when she was Charlotte's age and put it on Charlotte when she got up from her nap.  She also gave her this cute furry jacket to try on and she loved it, not wanting to take it off the rest of the afternoon.

    "Ta Da!"

Friday, August 16, 2013.  I was able to getting touch with my friend, Marta, and learned that she is still in the area, so I headed north across the Golden Gate this morning for a visit with her.  Was it ever foggy.  So much fog that you really couldn't see much of the red structure of that giant bridge.  Then, as I headed north and went through the Bunker Road Tunnel, I could see the the light at the end of the tunnel (sunshine).  I wish I could have captured a photo, as I would describe it as sunny fog or maybe foggy sunshine - get the picture? It was beautiful and so unusual - as the fog dropped along the hillsides and thinned, you could see it would be a sunny day at Marin Park.  Also, you can see the Bay from atop these hills and that view was stunning also.  It felt good to be back here, although it also sparked many memories of our experiences out here.

It was so nice to see Marta, she has such an inviting, friendly, cheerful, hopeful, and delightful personality and just has a way of making a person feel good.  We had a wonderful chat, a beer with lunch at the Marin Brewery, and a nice walk through the estuary with the dogs.  It was a very pleasant afternoon.

Saturday, August 17.  This morning started with Ben making a yummy frittata for us for breakfast.  What a great way to start the day.  After breakfast we headed to the playground so Charlotte could run around and the dogs could get a nice walk in.  Charlotte was pretty brave and played on the big jungle gym and even went down the slide feet first on her tummy.  Unfortunately, she was determined to take the concrete stairs to the top of the slide and lost her balance and feel down about 3 steps.  Grandma would have coddled her, but Ben stood her up, asked if she hurt anywhere, kissed her to make it better, then told her to shake it off and she was ready to get on a bouncy ride.  His approach makes much more sense.  Believe me, I am learning a lot and relearning a lot about parenting.  I'm so proud of them and how they are teaching her.

Sunday, August 18.  It was another busy day, starting with a quick breakfast, then Ben and I went to the Farmer's Market for produce.  We stocked up on veggies, fruits, and some meats for the week.  Back home, Ben rubbed down the pork shoulder for tonight's pulled pork dinner.  And then it was off to the playground.  While they took Charlotte to the playground, I took the dogs for a walk and met them back at the playground.  

While Charlotte napped, Ben went for a bike tide while Jill and I went through baby clothes to take inventory of what they have for newborns and we cleaned and washed one of the car seats and liners.  Those tasks can be crossed off the to do list.

When nap time is over, it's a whirlwind once again with snacks, playtime, fixing dinner, cleaning up the kitchen, bathtime, brushing teeth, story time, and bed time - whew!

I've been a bit under the weather since Friday when I started feeling crappy; congestion, headache, scratchy throat, and a dry cough.  By Sunday evening, I had very little voice, although I was feeling just fine.   Grrrrrrrrrr!

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 10 - 11, 2013 - SF

After breakfast on Saturday morning, Ben and I took the dogs and Charlotte and walked to the Cabrillo Playground, a brand new park that just opened a week or so ago.  The dogs waited for us while Charlotte played and we all got a nice walk in.

This part of the city is all a bustle with people this weekend as the Outdoors Land 3-day concert is going on in Golden Gate Park.  With names like Paul McCartney and Willie Nelson, you can be sure there will be huge crowds.  People are looking for parking wherever they can find it and are walking the mile or so from the outer Richmond to get there.  We have heard some of the music but to much.  I remember a day when I would have wanted to be there, but at this stage of my life, smaller crowds are much more interesting to me.

Ben made a Potato and Kale soup for dinner that was deeeeelicious.  Once Charlotte got tucked in bed for the night, Ben and I made a carrot cake, something that Jill has had a craving for and neither of us had a problem with making it.  It was too late to frost it so that had to wait until Sunday and we had to put off sampling it too.

Sunday morning's activity was a trip to the Richmond Farmer's Market on Clement Street between 2nd and 4th Avenues.  We stocked up on fruits and veggies for the week and also got a couple of steaks for dinner tonight.

Once again, I am making some progress on Charlotte's sweater whenever I have some quiet time and she is away or sleeping.  At least I am doing better on it now than I did while on vacation.  I hope I have it done by birthday time.

I'm also getting quite a bit more exercise, mostly from walking, but then dealing with a 2-year old is a lot more physical than I am used to also.  Hopefully, I will lose a few pounds while I am here.  Ben and I have walked the dogs several evenings and we usually do a good half-hour of walking.  And those times when I go by myself, its a bit shorter but they all include some hills.  Pushing Charlotte up the hill in the stroller is an extra good workout.

We're getting into a routine now (Charlotte's) and Frisco is getting used to the sounds of the city.  The first few nights were awful because he growled and barked at every little thing.  He still has a problem with the sound of people and a dog upstairs.

Friday, August 9, 2013

August 6 - 9, 2012 - SF

Friday, August 9, 2013.  The last 3 days have been busy and I've been trying to adjust to a different schedule.  I am way off on my morning routine and have even forgotten my coffee a couple of days.  Breakfast happens right after waking around here, so I'm thinking evening showers might work best.  I even forgot to let Frisco out on Wednesday morning and it was 10:00 before he got a walk.

Charlotte is still going to daycare two days a week, so Jill and I ran some errands after dropping her off on Wednesday morning.  Later on, after Frisco's walk, I got my stuff organized and just plain took it easy when Jill went off to meet a friend for lunch. I tried to take a nap, but sleep just didn't want to come to me that first night or the next day.

I did the grocery run later on that day and had dinner ready when Ben and Charlotte got home.  Jill is needing to rest throughout the day and is spending lots of time on the couch resting on her side (this provides better blood flow to the babies).  It is hard for her be inactive or to have someone helping with chores, but it is important right now to focus on taking care of herself - that's why I'm here.

Thursday was a busy day with Charlotte.  She wakes up happy but is hungry and asking for breakfast as soon as her feet hit the floor.  What a little busy body!  We went to Rossi Playground this morning and I stayed with Charlotte while Jill went to the salon to take care of some business.  It was kind of a drizzly morning but it didn't seem to phase any if the kids at the park.  Charlotte was mostly interested in the swings today and kept her watchful eye on a chair swing - patiently waiting until it was vacated - then she didn't want to give it up.

While petting Frisco this morning, I spotted a tick on his belly - a swollen, ugly thing that must have come from our walks when we were at Rene's house.  I got the tweezers and pulled it out but had to go back again and try again.his time, I'm sure I got the head out, so I cleaned it up and treated it with Neosporin and I'm hoping he is ok.  They are persistent creatures, as I continue to treat him on a monthly basis, bust this one was really latched on.

Jill and I were busy on Friday after I dropped Charlotte off at daycare.  We took care of some things around the house and worked on getting the curtains hemmed.  Now, we have to wait for Ben to get the rods hung up.  When the cleaning ladies were here, we walked to the park and just relaxed and enjoyed the nice afternoon.  Before heading back home, we stopped at the grocery store for dinner supplies.

They had an ultrasound appointment in the evening and found that the twins are coming right along - Baby A is about 3.5 pounds and Baby B is 2.75 pounds.  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August 6, 2013 - Oxnard to SF

It was another long day of driving and I had a hard time getting going this morning.  The coast of California is so beautiful and it made me realize how nice it always was in the past when Mike did the driving and I did the navigating.  It gave me the opportunity to take in all of the sights and also to research the landmarks that we were seeing along the way.  Without my co-pilot, I can only keep my eyes on the road and settle for glimpses of the views.

I arrived at Ben and Jill's - my home for the next six weeks.  To accommodate a grandparent in the household, they have converted the dining room to a bedroom for me.  The table is in the living room and they added a single bed and a small dresser to the dining room.  Jill and I will hang curtains later this week to separate the space a little more. I think it will work just fine and there is room for the 4 of us at the table for meals.

Charlotte was full of giggles and hugs for me and eager to show me her toys and her room.  She's quite happy with having a bed for me - another thing for her to climb around on.  Any items of clothing in sight gives her an opportunity to try them on.  I got the honor of doing story time and tucking her in for bed - she is really good about it.  Her speech has really improved and does a great job of speaking clearly to get her point across.

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 4-5, 2013 - Off To SF

My trip to SF will be by way of Oxnard, CA where I will spend a couple of nights with our dear old friends, Mary and Lance.  We go way back to when Mike and Mary worked together at Stephen and Brady Advertising in 1973 or so.  We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful long-time friends in our lives.

The 7-hour drive was not bad but once you get to San Bernardino, it is intense, heavy freeway traffic all of the way to the coast and through the northern suburbs of LA.  And there are some fast and aggressive drivers.  I sure felt like a weary traveler when I arrived.

We spent the evening catching up, sharing stories, and making and eating dinner.  I always enjoy talking plants with Mary, as she has a beautiful garden with a focus on succulents, many that we have shared with each other through the years.  They also have lots of birds coming to their feeders that makes it even more interesting.  It was a very nice evening and I'm happy to be here.

Mary and I went to downtown Ventura and browsed some of the shops on Monday afternoon, looking at shoes, some antiques and things for the home, and lots of girly things.  For lunch, we had a swirly cup - you choose your favors of frozen yogurt and top it with whatever goodies you choose, then you pay by weight.  I had a salted caramel and creme brûlée topped with coconut and pecans.

On our way back home,  we picked up some take and bake pizza for dinner.  And then we talked some more over a glass of wine and that tasty pizza.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 1 - 3, 2013 - Back Home in Mesa

It feels good to be back home again, although it has been very emotional for me.  Reminders and memories are everywhere in my home - and then there are a few problems that I have had to deal with - they don't make it any better.

There is no hot water coming into my house.  Well, there is a trickling of hot water coming through the pipes but not enough to take a shower.  There is plenty of both hot and cold coming into the shed and there is cold water coming in to the house.  I had our maintenance guy, Dave, stop by on Tuesday to give me his opinion on who to call and he thought the problem could be at the water softener.  I started there and called Kinetico - they told me how to bypass the softener and that would tell me if the problem was there.  When I bypassed it, there is no change - so, the problem is elsewhere.  I'm thinking water line might be gunked up from the water heater to the house.  For now, I will do nothing, as I really don't have time to deal with this right now and I won't be here to use it anyway - I have been taking my showers at the clubhouse.

I discovered last week that my health insurance company deducted $392 from my checking account and my premium is supposed to be only $98.  I finally heard from them and they agreed that they made a mistake and I now have a credit balance and won't be making a payment for the next 3 months.  This is fine, although I wasn't expecting to spend an extra $300 this month.  They will be monitoring my account manually to prevent this from happening again - this is the 2nd time.

Good stuff - I had dinner with Nan, Dale, Monica, Dylan, and Haylee on Tuesday night.  I thought I would be meeting Monica's boyfriend, Loren, but he was called to work.  I did get to meet Dylan and Haylee's new puppy, an 8-month old Labradoodle named Wyatt.  He is so cute - but is in that stage where his interest is all about the anatomy and he wouldn't leave Frisco alone.  Dylan was not happy with his behavior, but it was just puppy stuff and learning to communicate.  By the end of the evening, they were wrestling together and having fun.

Other than getting my tires rotated on the car and a trip to the car wash, I spent most of Wednesday lounging around the house.  I finally finished reading a book that I had started before I left on my trip - just didn't have much time for reading and when I did, it wasn't that book.  A pair of pants got hemmed, and I managed to get a few things done in preparation for my next trip.

Connie stopped by in the evening and we had a nice chat, having to cut it short as Frisco was chomping at the bit to get out for his nightly walk.

Frisco got a pedicure this morning - and so did I.  Thanks to the Dremel sanding attachment (I used this method on Lucy) - it really makes the job easy and he doesn't mind it at all.  I was afraid that the sound of it would scare him and it has to generate some heat, but he rarely even flinches - not like when I would try to clip his nails with a clipper.  He really needed it because I only got around to it once while on our 6-week trip.  A bath for him is also on the agenda in the next couple of days.  He needs some grooming type TLC.

I met up with Nan and Dale for lunch at PJ's Brewhouse near the Chandler Mall on Thursday afternoon, since I had to go to The Body Shop (I recently bought a Groupon deal knowing that I was running low of moisturizer - the stuff that is supposed to make old skin look young - yeah right!) and Nan doesn't work too far from there.  My lunch of Chicken Noodle soup and salad was very tasty and many thanks to Nan and Dale for treating me - best of all was their company.  Thanks to the Groupon - I got my moisturizer for 1/2 price.

I started packing again on Friday - will head to Oxnard, CA (the halfway point between here and SF) on Sunday to visit with Mary and Lance for a couple of days before heading to SF.  Frisco knows that once again, his life will be "in transit".  He follows every move I make and is ever watchful.

Tonight (Friday), I went to TGIF to connect with my community friends that I always enjoy being with.  Dinner was chicken from the local Albertsons plus several homemade entrees that folks bring - all making for a very pleasant evening of conversation and plenty of laughter.  Again - this is a great place to live and it feels like one big, happy family.

Connie, Cathy, and I went to Scottscale on Saturday morning to a couple of estate sales and then we went to LoLo's for chicken and waffles.  Neither of them had been there before and both really liked it - they will be back.

I spent the rest of the day getting ready for my trip to SF.