March 2017

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our Clotheshorse

My soon-to-be three-year-old grandson, Jonah, has been giving his parents fits about his wardrobe for some time now.  He basically wants to wear the same short-sleeved t-shirt everyday no matter the outdoor temperature.  He absolutely hates "up and down shirts," better known as button-down shirts, and only wants to wear pull-on pants.

Elliott, Jonah and Papa
at the St. Louis Home Show.
One morning last week, Jonah was so stubborn about a particular shirt he was ready to leave the house shirtless. Finally, his older brother just opened the door and the blast of freezing weather made Jonah concede defeat.

Then last weekend there was the battle of the sweatshirt.  On Saturday, my daughter wanted Jonah to wear a Toy Story sweatshirt, but he flat out refused saying, "I hate that shirt!" On Sunday, she tried again. Jonah's response, "I hated that shirt yesterday and I still hate it today!" Nevertheless, Jonah lost the sweatshirt battle on Sunday as you can see in this photo.

There's no doubt Jonah's a clotheshorse.  I'm just hoping he eventually develops better taste than wearing the same red t-shirt and elastic-waist pants everyday!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Divine Intervention

I've been going to the same hair stylist for over 20 years.  Judy knows my hair well, and what I like and don't like.  I'm not always thrilled with a new cut or style, but it's usually because I expect my hair to do things it simply can't.  The problem is my hair is super fine with no body of its own.

Recently I'd been so frustrated I started thinking about seeing a new stylist.  My hope was someone new would look at my hair and features and, magically, come up with the perfect stylish cut.  I'd even been thinking about getting a cut while in Paris.  But, deep down, I was too scared to really make a change, fearing someone else would cut my hair too short for my comfort.  And then came, what I feel, was a divine intervention.

Two weeks ago, I was ready for a trim and color treatment (to vanish the few gray hairs I'm now getting).  But that appointment had to be rescheduled for last week because Judy was down with a bad gall bladder.  Then last weekend I was told Judy would be out for at least another couple of weeks.  Poor thing has a terrible infection that needs to be dealt with before any surgery can be performed.

Because I'm now only three weeks away from our trip, I didn't want to put off a cut any longer.  I always like my hair better at least 3-4 days after a fresh cut.  And, if I kept my old style, I would need another trim just before leaving.  So I decided to take my chances with a new stylist.  At least another stylist at the same salon would have the dye formula for my hair that Judy perfected years ago.  As far as the cut, my intent was to keep the same style, just have the four-week growth trimmed.  But Jean had another idea.

While my color was setting, Jean pulled a couple of style books and strongly recommended a new stylish, and much shorter, cut.  At the time, I honestly don't know why I agree.  But I now feel it must have been a divine intervention.

I absolutely love my new hair!  It's short and extremely stylish.  Best of all, it dries quickly and takes seconds to style.  It will be fantastic for travel and the warmer weather ahead.  No personal pictures, yet, but it's like Michelle Williams' hair in this picture taken at the 2012 Oscars.

I hate that Judy is ailing and hope she's better soon.  But, for me, her leave of absence was just the push I needed.



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow Day!

We finally got our first snow day (school closing) today.  And I won't be surprised if we get another one tomorrow.  Some areas got nearly eight inches of snow, and there's a lot of ice due to bitter cold temperatures.  

It looks like the snow will be around at least a few days.  And I know two little boys who are thrilled!

Elliott
Jonah and Elliott finally got
to test out their sleds.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flight Challenges

Since American Airlines pulled their hub out of St. Louis, the only thing that makes Lambert an international airport is their charter flights to Cancun, Mexico.  Traveling from St. Louis to anywhere in Europe, therefore, requires at least one transfer.  If it was just a matter of getting off one plane and boarding another, it wouldn't be too bad.  But it's much more than that.

First, from St. Louis, you always fly to an international airport.  That means, upon arrival, you have to get from the domestic to the international terminal, which usually takes much more time than you imagined.  When we flew to Dublin, Ireland, we changed planes in Chicago.  We arrived at O'Hare International Airport on time, but still just made our connecting flight.  We had 1.5 hours between flights, but getting through O'Hare took every bit of that time.

The second challenge is dealing with different sized planes.  Planes leaving St. Louis are much smaller than those flying overseas.  And some of those smaller planes only allow one carry-on.  But, for years, hubby and I have been traveling with only two carry-ons each no matter if it's a domestic or international trip.  So, even if it's more expensive, I always book with an airline that allows two carry-ons.

And I now always give us plenty of time to travel between domestic and international terminals, or airports.  For our upcoming Paris trip, we're first flying American Airlines to LaGuardia Airport where our son and daughter-in-law will pick us up.  We'll then have lunch before going to John F. Kennedy International Airport for our American Airlines direct flight to Paris.  And we'll be switching airports on the way home, too.

If you do any amount of air travel and live near an international airport, count your blessings.  It was a sad day when American Airlines pulled their hub out of St. Louis.  Nevertheless, where there's a will, there's a way!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mom Update

Last week mom went through a 4-5 day period where all she did was sleep.  The best anyone at the nursing home could do was get her to swallow 2-3 bites of food.  Multiple blood tests were run as well as an urine analysis.  The results showed no infections or significant abnormalities.  And, through the entire episode, mom's vital signs were normal.

Family and staff were understandably concerned.  But then Sunday, as if nothing was ever wrong, mom appeared to "come to" late morning.  When dad arrived, mom was ready to eat and finished all of her lunch that dad fed her.

None of the skilled medical professionals at the home could offer any explanation for mom's mysterious episode.  They also felt strongly mom didn't have a stroke because her face was never drawn.  However, on Monday, my brother noticed mom couldn't use her hands.  By the time dad and I saw her Tuesday, the staff agreed mom had lost strength in her right hand.  And when my brother and dad visited today, everyone agreed mom no longer has any strength or feeling in her right arm and leg, all sure signs of a stroke.

Mom's been in the advance stages of Alzheimer's Disease for nearly two years, beginning when her legs quit working.  She hasn't been able to sit upright in over a year.  When not in bed, mom slouches and leans to the left in a wheeled geri-chair.  It's a sad sight and I suppose it would be difficult to notice any paralysis as mom's always lifted to the geri-chair, shower chair, toilet, and bed. But I'm still amazed no one at the nursing home recognized a stroke.

I'm also amazed mom survived a stroke.  Three years ago, the doctor agreed to stop mom's statins. At the time, my only concern was mom having a stroke resulting in paralysis adding to her pathetic state.  But the doctor assured me mom would not survive a stroke.  At minimum, I was told she might linger a few days with hospice.

Now here we are, all of us dealing with the Alzheimer's Monster for 10+ years with mom not recognizing family in over two years.  And there's no reason to believe mom's going anywhere soon. Despite the paralysis and now also excessive crying, her appetite is back and, yes, her vital signs are still normal.  Pray God, how much more hell on earth does this woman have to endure?


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Elliott's Party

Today was my oldest grandson's birthday party.  Elliott will be seven on Valentine's Day.  It was a Lego party and I made the cupcakes and cupcake wrappers.  My daughter made the chocolate Lego mini-figures and bricks for the top of the cupcakes.  It was just what the birthday boy ordered!

Soon-to-be-seven Elliott.
Happy boys – Elliott and Jonah.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Several Projects in the Works

I can't believe it's been nearly a week since I last posted.  But I've been busy with several projects.

Elliott's birthday party is this weekend.  I already made the Lego cupcake wrappers, and will make and freeze cupcakes this afternoon to decorate Saturday morning.  Next I'll get started on Jonah's party, which is just four weeks later.  It's amazing to me that my grandsons will be seven and three soon!

All of my dad's great-grandchildren were born between mid February and early May.  So I've also been busy buying and wrapping gifts from dad, and from Jim and me, for Elliott and Jonah, and my two grand-nieces and grand-nephew.  Plus I'm working on Easter gifts since Easter is just five days after we return from Paris.

Oh, and the annual MS-fundraiser garage sale my daughter and son-in-law hold every year on the day before Easter is, of course, four days after we get back.  Jim always works the sale, and I do all the baking for the bake sale Elliott runs.  That means, I need to make and freeze cookie dough before our trip, so I can mass produce bunny cookies as soon as we return.

All the above in addition to making Valentine's Day, birthday, and Easter cards is keeping me busier than usual.  I'm certainly not experiencing a boring retirement yet!