<looking around> Hi, everybody! Yep. I’m back. And my blog is STILL here! Yay! It’s been awhile. I’m actually doing okay weight-wise; ate a little piggishly over the holidays, but got back to my “healthy lifestyle” right afterwards and have dropped the holiday bloat, thank gawd. My itty bitty twinnies turned a year old on March 18 - it hardly seems possible - but they are thriving, and both weigh in at 26 pounds which is pretty phenomenal, considering what tiny little premies they were when they were born. I will try to post a picture, but don’t know if I’ll be able to - when the blogs were first switched to this format I tried without any success, but maybe it’s gotten easier? So DH & I saw that movie/documentary “Food, Inc.” and THAT has ended up restricting our eating even more than we had already restricted it. I haven’t had any red meat for several years now, but was enjoying all the different ways I could use chicken and ground turkey and pork loin roasts, etc. Now, after seeing that movie, I can only eat free range, humanely raised, antibiotic and hormone-free and organically fed chicken, turkey and pork, and I’m here to tell you it isn’t that easy to find, and it IS more expensive. But I feel better about eating it, so I guess that’s a good thing. So, on top of that, I’m getting old as the hills, am beginning to accept that and not feel any compulsion to turn back the clock or anything - and I’m living pretty comfortably with the wrinkles if not the extra ten pounds that I am even now struggling to drop in the interests of staying physically active as opposed to curling up in a rocker on the front porch which is what I some days feel like doing. Oh, of course I’m still working; can’t retire for a few more years, but I’m dabbling in dress design, which I love, and will maybe do something with that once I can kick the day job to the curb. And speaking of curbs, I can’t even see any of those hereabouts - this is the second day of monsoon season in New England (the second day of THIS monsoon, that is; we had a big one a week ago) and the road below my office is washed out as are a lot of the roads out of this gawdforsaken place….we moved from Back Bay Boston to an office park in Canton, MA, which to me was not a brilliant decision, but who am I to wonder why….a couple more years and I’m outta here. Anyway, we had some serious flooding last time, and we’re in a state of emergency yet AGAIN with no end of rain in sight. I mean, it is POURING out there. Driving isn’t great fun. My SAD is about to kick in, and I may have to risk skin cancer and take myself to a tanning salon if there are any still around, because I get really EVIL when I don’t get enough sun. Winter was bad enough - we had a rainy summer last year - and this spring is off to a really ugly start. They are predicting a really nice, sunny and warm weekend. One can only hope. We’re going down to visit my sis in Nawth Cahlina the first of May, and I told her she’d best have some sun planned. Hey, I’m back at my blog! This is pretty kewl. Hi Annie and Ruby and…and…..hey, where IS everybody, anyway? Oh well, I’ll be back. I lost that silly password that they give you when you request a new one, then I got a new one and copied and pasted it out of my email, but now I have to figure out how to change it to one that I can remember.
See y’all soon,
Okay, I STILL can’t attach a picture….I don’t know the URL and dimensions and all that stuff! Why can’t I just attach it from my pictures file? Jeesh!
Hah. DH weighed himself a couple of days ago - over the weekend, actually - and practically fell off the scale when he saw 261. He’s 6′3, so he ought to be somewhere around 225, right? Well, he ought to be around 225 like I ought to be around 140. I’m aiming for 160, so he’s aiming for 240. Seems fair. On Sunday we went to our absolutely all-time favorite Italian restaurant - Bertucci’s - which is a small chain, and some are better than others. The one we go to - in Westboro, MA, which is about 15 miles from where we live, heading towards Boston - is absolutely top notch. As soon as you sit down, they bring you steaming hot rolls and herbed dipping oil. Oh, no, no - this is NOT where you go when attempting to lose weight: this is where you go for one last hurrah before you start counting whatever you plan to count - calories, points, carbs - or whatever. Now I have been dieting for the past month of course, and done well enough, considering that I’ve learned to be a little more flexible in my expectations, but even when dieting, I’m of the opinion that a good splurge every once in awhile won’t kill you. Not binge, mind you - but a nice, really outstanding splurge on something you really love, and would end up craving at some point if you didn’t give yourself permission to have a little once in a while. ANYhoo, we had dinner at Bertucci’s Sunday night - seasoned, roasted veggies for an appetizer (I WISH I knew how they season these; they are so darned GOOD - green peppers, zuchinni, eggplant, mushrooms, diced, seasoned tomatoes….oh, they are so yummy, and SO healthy. (That’s not taking into account all those hot rolls, of course, which are sooooo mouth-wateringly good, but not even a little bit healthy, after all). Then, for our entrees, I ordered the chicken picatta (Oh, yum….lemony chicken cooked with capers over linguine) and DH ordered lasagne, and we split our plates and each had half and half. No dessert. We couldn’t have forced another mouthful down by the time we gobbled up all of our rolls and appetizer - oh, and SALAD - and those generously-portioned entrees. And THAT, dear hearts, was our swan song, so to speak, because we have since been counting every last forkful that passes our lips. I’ve decided to revert back to the Wendie plan, where you vary your points (or in our case, calories) so that you alternate low calorie with high calorie days. This has worked well for me in the past, and that day when you can have VERY high calories feels like a reward all by itself. I went and trekked around Boston Common at lunchtime today - it’s the first day that we’ve had sunshine in a while. Well, Saturday was a good day, but then it rained again on Sunday. It’s really been a terrible month here in the northeast - cooler than typical, and more darned rain. I also did a little shopping on the way back to the office. Found a pretty calf-length skirt that I know will match a lot of my tops, so that was nice. Also bought a pretty cotton scarf - I really like accenting outfits with scarves. DH called to report in on what he ate for breakfast and lunch, and he was headed for the lake to walk our favorite trail while there’s some sunshine for a change. I wish we could walk when I get home from work at @ 5:30 or 6, but by then, I’m just too tired. What I NEED to do is get up a half hour earlier in the morning and walk then, but that would mean being up at 4:30 every morning, and I’m not real enthusiastic about doing that, either, let me tell you. My son will be here on the 24th - and staying through July 6 - which I’m really looking forward to. Today is his birthday, and I called him (as did all of his sisters) and sang “Happy Birthday” to him, but we’ll have a nice family-style celebration dinner with him when he’s home - with his favorite all-you-can-eat boiled lobster with herbed butter dipping pots.
Okay, this is actually Tuesday, now. I had to save the above as a draft because things got a tad busy around here. I walked around the Common again today (at least a mile) and then sat in the sun for a half hour. Got a nice dose of vitamin D, which ought to help with my mood, which has been on the grumpy (think: crabby old lady) side while we’ve been having all of this unseasonal rain and gray days. I have developed a little healthy color from walks and sitting at the lake with DH whenever there’s a drop of sun to be had on the weekends. I used to get very dark tans in summer, but now, of course, I need to be a little more careful about skin cancer and of course the ever-spreading wrinkles. Sometimes I really, really wish that I felt my age instead of walking around thinking I haven’t aged a day since I turned 30. Obviously, I don’t LOOK 30, so it seems like I ought to start thinking about acting my age. Except I don’t exactly know how people my age are supposed to act - or even think, for that matter. It’s a little confusing, if you want the truth. DH is already retired. Sometimes it annoys me - the way he has no obligations and can just while away his days running errands, painting pictures, walking in the park, etc., etc. Wednesday mornings he has to take the trash out to the curb for the city pick-up, and the way he moans and groans over that 15 minute chore, you’d think he was working all day long on the danged trash truck! But, to get back to what I was saying about not knowing how I’m supposed to act, look, think, etc. - the problem is that there’s such a wide range of choices out there. I mean, some people settle into a chubby, apron-wearing granny-persona when they hit 50. Others are glamorous well into their sixties and seventies, even without the celebrity facelifts. Those of us who still are out there in the workforce attending meetings and events and such tend, I think, to retain a more youthful presence than some others of us, but not in all cases. Presence. Not neccessarily looks, although staying at a healthy weight goes a long way in that direction, it seems. And choice of clothes - that’s a big factor. I like to be fashionable but try to stay away from “trendy”. I have my tried and true wardrobe basics - calf-length skirts, wide-legged flood pants, lots of flax (in summer) and more recently, I’ve become quite enamored of “lagenlook” styles. Lots of scarves and chunky jewelry accents. But sometimes I wonder if I’m dressing too YOUNG for myself….and then I see some slim, elegant 60-year-old in something similar, and think, “why not?” Or, “why?” Is there a point? Does it even matter? And does even thinking about it constitute a waste of time on my part? I guess when I was over on the Common today, I was observing a lot of young college students, office workers on their lunch breaks, and young mothers with their toddlers feeding the geese and such - and suddenly I realized that if any of them were observing ME, they’d see an older woman - and I AM AN OLDER WOMAN, NOW!!!!!!! Yikes. And there I was, skirt hiked up, Nike flip-flops kicked off (I left my heeled sandals in the office; they’re not great for walking) and my scarf tossed aside in order to expose a little more neckline to the sunshine. For a single hot minute, I almost found myself feeling concerned about the image I was projecting. That lasted for mere seconds before I chastized myself, thinking (quite accurately) that my IMAGE was the least of my problems. What I NEEDED to concern myself with was how agilely I was going to be able to spring to my feet once it was time to go. (Luckily, I pulled that off without too much clumsiness). Looks like all the walking is doing some good, after all.
Well, back to work, here….I just wanted to check in and blather on for a bit. Calories today are supposed to be 1150. I;m always surprised at how much you can actually eat if you make good choices.
Okay. And the beat goes on. I am currently writing this in front of my pc at home, which for sure isn’t where I’d typically be at 7:45 AM on a Tuesday. I am <slowly> recovering from what I suppose has been the flu, although whether or not it is THE FLU or not, I couldn’t tell you. While I spent all of last Friday and another 12 hours or so on Saturday in my bed alternately shivering and burning up, and with aches everywhere, including one doozy of a headache, all of which seem to have since sort of oozed towards a congested chest and a deep, stomach-straining cough, accented, occasionally, by a truly magnificent sneezing fit. Let me see - is that everything? I think maybe so. And, no, I don’t know if this is/was THE FLU because I didn’t consult with the doctor about it. At first, I was too sick and miserable, and then, when it looked like I was in fact going to live, what would’ve been the point? I kept myself quarantined from everyone with the exception of DH, who must be tired by now of my constant admonitions to “WASH YOUR HANDS” and “Spray some Zicam in your mouth”. Pesky as it may be, it seems to have been effective, as he’s showing no symptoms of his own. Oh, I haven’t seen the itty bitty twinnies since mid-week last week. At the rate they’ve been growing, they’ve probably gained another pound apiece during this little hiatus. Well, hopefully by the end of this week, I’ll be sufficiently recovered to spend some time with them again.
Work, I don’t miss. While I’ll admit to a teensy bit of boredom (just a teensy bit), being home - once the coma-like period passed - has been pretty nice. Sunday and Monday (yesterday) were both sunny and warm; not hot, but nice and warm. So DH and I drove down to the park about a mile from our house and sat on the lakeshore in our lawnchairs to soak up a little much-needed vitamin D. We stayed out for an hour each time, and it felt great. We both occupied ourselves with reading our respective books in between looking at the water and just generally basking. I, of course, was equipped with a box of issues, and certainly managed to feel the part of the aging rehab patient. All very reminiscent of an Evelyn Waugh novel, the name of which escapes me at the moment. I did feel as though I ought to be wearing a huge sun hat, be dressed in flowing white silks, and be carrying a parasol. Instead, of course, I was wearing khaki bermuda shorts and a black tank top with my black Old Navy flip flops (Oh, how lovely to be able to leave the house in flip flops again!). Which gives rise, of course, to the question of where I am in my neverending battle with excess weight. Well, I have shed MOST of what I wanted to take off after looking in the mirror in sheer horrified amazement after a winter of barbaric cold and multi-layered dressing (who knows if it’s you or the layers, after all?) plus the pessimism that results from living through one dreary gray day after another…..blaaaah. But, now that we can get out and frolic (okay…SIT) in the sunshine, multiple layers aren’t practical, after all, and it’s time to correct the results of our wintertime overindulgences. Now why this should be necessary, year after bloody year, makes no sense whatsoever, but there you have it. I start out every fall, it seems, determined to NOT let winter get in the way of my healthy eating and excersize, but by January, all bets are off, and there I am again, consoling myself with all manner of breads, pastas, sweets and so forth - or not. Sometimes, frankly, I just eat far too much of my “healthy” foods. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that my goal is extremely realistic - just to fit comfortably in a size 12. A comfortable size 12 is just fine for my height (5′6) and bone structure. I am comfortable in a size 12 when I weigh about 160. So, I need to lose 10 more pounds. Dare I tell you that when I weighed myself after the winter (in March) the scale was teetering right at about the 185 mark? So, I’ve lost 15 pounds and have 10 to go. But, it sure is monotonous - not to mention ridiculous - to be doing this every spring, year after year after year. Surely there’s a better way! Unfortunately, I’m afraid that the better way - for me, at any rate - would be to live somewhere where winters aren’t quite so cold and miserable. Which I can’t very well do now, can I? Not with new grandbaby boy twins - and of course my other darling little grandkiddos - living HERE. So, if anybody out there has any tips on how to get through winter without gaining back all the pounds you worked so hard to lose in spring and summer, please share!!!!!
Well, having caught myself staring trance-like at the screen for moments at a time, it seems I’ve run out of words. It must be time for my morning nap - LOL. This is ridiculous. I’d better feel better soon! <stamping foot>
And where are we all? Out enjoying spring? I hope so! Not that I’ve exactly been outside all that much; we just had a week of rain. Not cold, mind you, but wet. Very wet. Spring clothes got a little soggy, and the feetsies (in sandals; I put away all my winter shoes & pantyhose) were starting to wrinkle from all that exposure to water, but yesterday was a tad nicer - started out gray, but the sun came out in the afternoon - and today looks perfect (It’s 7:25 AM hereabouts, and brightly sunny already). My daughters and I will be going out to lunch together for Mother’s Day. My son sent each of us a lovely bouquet yesterday - sure am looking forward to his next trip home at the end of June. OUR home, that is - I guess I’d better just get used to him living out there on the west coast, because he certainly seems to love it, and work is going well for him and all. I must admit that I think I could be happy living out there myself, but my grandchildren (including my two little new baby boy twins) all live here in the east, and how could I leave them?
Well, here we are, sliding into another summer, and as usual, my weight isn’t where I want it, and so begins my annual spring MAJOR EATING CHANGE. This year, I read an article about the “Let’s do lunch” diet. I don’t remember who the author is, although he’s written a book that I’m sure can be found via Google if anyone has the slightest bit of interest. Ho-hum, you say - yet one more diet fad promising to shave off those pounds and turn us into fitness maazine covergirls. Hah. Right. Well, my dreams of cover girldom have long since vanished, that’s for sure…or wait a minute…maybe not so sure…maybe I still harbor fantasies of being asked to pose for the brochures of one of those luxury retirement developments - you may be familiar with the typical photo of a man and woman with grayish hair whose faces and bodies look about 20 years old. Sometimes they’e posed standing next to their bicycles on some sort of wooded bike path - smiling with mouths full of brilliantly white and perfect teeth, and trying to say (without words, of course) “This could be YOU if you’ll just pay us ninety trazillion dollars to live here!” Now first of all, the old people I know who have mouthsful of blindingly bright teeth are simply the victims of dentists who fit them with mass-produced false chompers; REAL teeth (which I happen to have) don’t retain such blinding brightness for 50+ years, trust me. They’re white enough, but they don’t actually flash at you in the sun the way those cheap false ones do. Of course, you know those retirement development people (in the brochure, I mean) are either 20-year-olds with grayish wigs, or the whole image is airbrushed to the point of sheer fantasy. Okay, so let’s establish that it’s not really my goal to have a twenty-year-old body. No need. Trust me. What I DO want to do is have my size 12’s fit comfortably and look decent. NOT my size zeros, and not my size ones…and not even my size sixes or eights. No. At 5′6, I look just fine in size 12’s, feel fine, and have no desire to look any finer. But the winter took its toll this year. Winter always takes its toll, but this year’s was particularly nasty, dreary, snowy, icy and icky…and so to combat the general blah of it all, I did what has always made the most sense to me - I ate. Didn’t pay all that much attention to things getting tight - just sort of leaned towards the larger clothes at the back end of my closets, and indulging in a lot of self-talk conisting of, “I always LOVED that (stretch-waisted) skirt!!!!” or “I really LIKE that big, flowing woolen tunic - always so chic with a long (stretch-waisted) skirt…!!” Yeah. And then spring appears out of nowhere, I start pulling out my lightweight clothes again, only to discover that a majority of them have shrunken horribly over the winter months. So, about the ”Let’s do lunch” diet. The premise is that prior to the industrial revoution, most people worked on farms (thus getting loads more exercise than we do) and ate their main, as in “big” meal at lunch time. We, on the other hand, have jobs outside our homes that we go to daily, and started eating stuff like sandwiches for lunch and our “big meal” at night. The result? Fat folk. Anyway, this author recommends eating our big meal of the day at lunch time, and nibbling on fruit and such - having a much smaller meal, that is - at supper. So, I’ve been doing it - along with a substanial drop in caloric intake - and losing just about 2.5 pounds a week pretty steadily. Oh, and we’re back, DH & I - to walking with Leslie Sansone for a mile every morning before I leave for work. I know a mile isn’t much, but it’s consistent, and better than not walking a mile, right?
Oh, yes indeed. I was starting, over the winter months, to talk myself into thinking that my weight didn’t matter - I mean, isn’t there an age where you can just stop trying to maintain any semblance of decent looks and size? Guess not. Either that, or I just haven’t gotten there yet. Maybe later, you know?
So, anyway. That’s where I am these days.
And the young hawks are home and doing well - still much smaller that my babies ever were: one is at 6lbs 9 oz, and the other is at 6Lbs 3 oz, so the little guy is catching up, and as he does, they look more and more alike. I really wish I could figure out the process for putting pictures on these here blogs, but I can’t seem to, and I have no patience with lengthy step-by-step directions. (That’s my crabby side; why can’t they keep these things simple like they were before? I used to love popping pictues onto my blog. Oh, well.)
AND a big “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all of you mothers out there, and a Happy NOT-MOTHERS-DAY to all who don’t have any offspring….there have been days in our lives when we have definitely envied you, trust me. Treat yourselves well, you hear?
And spring has sprung! Or sorta. In the process in these here parts, I guess you could say. REAL nice day (60 degrees) on Friday, rainy and chilly yesterday, and sunny - or so they’re predicting - today, but on the cool side. I actually went out of my house in a pair of flip-flops on Friday! Flip-flops! My absolute favorite footwear on the face of the earth! Give me a pair of Old Navy flip-flops to trek aound in, and I’m in heaven! That’s the worst part of winter for me - wearing those danged panty hose and boots. Don’t even ask me about the long, heavy coats. The only coats of mine that I like are a couple of faux furs that I have - especially the vintage-look faux racoon. Except I like looking at them more than I like wearing them. They’re too heavy to enjoy wearing comfortably. But all that’s behind us for another six month or so, and in another few weeks, I should be able to pull out my summer clothes and send the winter ones off to the cleaners. Actually, I’ve been gradually doing that for the past month. I shudder to think about the aggregate cleaning bill. That’s ANOTHER nice thing about my summer wardrobe - a majority of my stuff is machine washable. Not too many dry-cleanables in the lot. Okay, well, my ONE little problem going into summer this year is that I WEIGH more than I did at the start of winter!!! I don’t know what hapened to me this past winter. Well, I suppose I do, really. We just had such a miserable, cold, snowy and icy winter that my weight loss motivation gave way to my survival instincts - as in, “Eat as much as you can so you’ll have an extra fat layer to keep you warm!” Yeah. That’s it. And a good excuse it is, too, don’t you think? I mean, everybody heard about our New England blizzards and ice storms, right? Huddled around the fireplace, carrying flashlights - or candles (I still have a few drips of candle wax on the rug in the bedroom) - eveywhere we went, trying to eat up as much as we could out of the freezer before it went bad - how were we supposed to lose weight? Okay, so we were without electricity just for a WEEK - doesn’t excuse my season-long, on-again, off-again dieting. Yeah. No excuses, here. Just no real motivation. And the result is now going into spring looking like one of those marshmallow bunnies they sell for kids Easter baskets. Keep in mind here, too, that “Uma” (which is what my grandkids call me) always fills Easter baskets for the grandkids with arts and crafts, little toys like kaleidoscopes, paddle balls, jump ropes, flower seeds (that I will plant with them in another couple of weeks) and not much candy. ”Uma” believes in healthy eating, after all. Yeah. And what a fine example of it she is these days - NOT. So, needless to say, I am climbing back on the wagon - tomorrow - and shall remain thereon. I really can’t afford any more of this self-indulgence: I haven’t even done any walking with Leslie Sansone for the past couple of months. I’m embarassed and ashamed of myself. I feel big and clumsy, and my knees and hips are achey. I need to take off this weight, and I need to take it off fast! I’ve actually been toying with the idea of going back on the Atkins diet. I lost all my pregnancy weight and stayed slim and trim for YEARS on that diet. (My son, as many of you know, will be 28 this year. Omigawd.) Only trouble wih that is that in the past few years, I’ve stopped eating red meat - which I ate TONS of on Atkins - and I also seem to have developed an allergy to eggs over the past year or two,and I ate a load of eggs on Atkins. Those were staples of that diet for me. And I was NEVER hungry!!!!! And there is that glaring lack of fiber in low carb diets, and I am now convinced that fiber is really important to good health. Okay. So I guess it won’t be Atkins. I guess I’ll just have to control my apetitite through sheer will power, eat less and exercise more. What a grim thought. But the alternative - growing fatter and fatter, and less and less active - is even grimmer.
Okay. Well, the young hawks came home on Friday, and are adjusting nicely. They are just the sweetest little guys. I went over to my daughter’s yesterday and got all their laundry caught up for them. Thursday night I took my granddaughter (sister of the young hawks) out shopping for Easter shoes (Her Mom took her out for the dress) and a coat - we ended up with several coats, in fact: a lightweight woolen long one in pink to wear over her new dress for Easter, a khaki trench coat to alternate with on rainy Sundays through the summer & fall) and a cute, fun little jacket to wear with jeans and such. On Friday I did my weekly grocery shopping and then DH & I stopped in to welcome the boys home. Today will be relatively quiet for us, which will be pleasant, although it’s possible that we may need to help out with the boys while my daughter and her husband take turns at church - one will be going for the morning service, and the other will go for the aftenoon program because my granddaughter will be singing a solo with the choir. She has a pretty little voice.
Back to work tomorrow. It’s been nice having three days off.
Have a happy week, y’all…
So, my two young hawklings are BOTH doing well - the one who faltered a bit has regained his wings and is sailing along nicely. The doctors are predicting/tentatively anticipating that both boys will be ready to go home when they reach 35 weeks, which will be in a little over a week from now. I know that my daughter will be so glad to get them home and end this daily hospital routine, but of course that will bring a whole new set of challenges. won’t it? Lovely time to be joining us on this earthly plane, though, isn’t it? A time when the temperatures are (finally) starting to move upwards, buds can be seen erupting on those stark, skeletal winter tree branches, and hints of green are popping out all around us. There will be lots of opportunities to wheel the boys out in their brand new double stroller to take in the fresh air and explore this big old world of ours. I wish I could just follow them around with a camera (a Kodak throw-away, of course) and record them as they see their first butterfly and hear their first birdsong. Our whole family is so thrilled to be a part of raising twins! Of course, much as we will love helping with them and visiting with them, and later, as they start to grow into toddlers and then little children - taking them to the zoo and around about - the fact is that they are my daughter’s children, and raising them is going to be her life work, so to speak. I find that I regularly think about the fact that I have essentially been there and done that, and that my role is very different, now. And it’s a little bittersweet, to tell the truth, but of course I wouldn’t really WANT to be raising babies again at my age. It’s just that the years go by so quickly - and then you look back in amazement, wondering how it all slipped by you the way it seems to have.
But I don’t say that in a regretful way at all - more just out of pure astonishment, I think. I loved my children dearly when they were children, but I love them just as much - maybe more, even - now that they are all adults. They all all really admirable people, and I feel very fortunate.
I also feel very puffy lately. LOL. I began (again) yesterday with the calorie counting <grumble> and fully intend to be back to my old self by Memorial Day weekend when DH and I will be joining our cronies up at our traditional New Hampshire/White Mountains retreat during which we manage to solve all the world’s problems. Theoreticially. Only one of us has ever held public office, and he got bloody tired of it. We’ll tell our stories around a nice big fire, do some singing and drumming, eat lots of healthy (mostly vegetarian) food, and do a bit of hiking and rock-scrambling. Okay. I mean climbing. Except sometimes you slide and then you have to scramble, you know? (Or hope DH is right at your elbow - which he usually is - and grabs you at the precise time you need him to). Oh, and breathe lots of fresh (thin) mountain air. It CAN be a bit daunting at first, until you adjust to the change. I once tried to ride my mountain bike (what a misnomer, if there ever was one!) on one of the trails up there, and found myself gasping for breath after the first gently upward sloping stretch. Yikes. Scary.
Well, back to work - that’s where I am this morning. A bit tired because DH & I watched “Their Eyes Were Watching God” last night, and I got to bed somewhat late. Tonight I’ll be going up to see my grandtwins at the hospital. Anyway, if you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it. It was produced by Oprah Winfrey a while back (we ordered it from Netflix) and is a screen adaptation of the book by Zora Neale Hurston - written back in the 1920’s. Really an exquisite movie. As Oprah notes in her introduction, “Wherever Zora Neale Hurston IS (she died some years ago) if she sees this movie, she’ll be SHOUTING.”
Hugs and Happy Spring,
Time for a story. First, the babies are holding their own - still in the NICU, but doing better every day. The elder of the two (by fifteen minutes) was smaller (by 10 oz.) and anemic because at birth, something called twin-to-twin transfusion occurred. Some of his blood spurted from him to his brother via the umbilical cord. His brother, as a result, had blood that was too much and too thick. So the (younger, bigger) one needed to have some blood drained and replaced by saline solution while the other is receiving iron and calcium supplements. The younger (by fifteen minutes) baby is doing quite well, and has even started to breast feed. The older is developing a bit more slowly, and they are feeding him breast milk wih a bottle in order to keep careful track of how much he takes in without spitting it up. So far, so good, but of course we have been concerned about “Baby A” catching up with his brother. Also waiting on some test results.
So now the story. I have long been a believer in the universe - God - All That Is (your choice) giving us signs and answers if we pay attention. As many of you know, I drive back and forth an hour each way to work on the Massachusetts Turnpike. I have been doing this for nine years, now. I have never seen any hawks. Some flocks of birds from time to time, but never any hawks.
On my way home yesterday, I had the babies on my mind - especially the smaller little munchkin, whose test results we are presently waiting for. As I was driving along, I had his sweet little face in mind when suddenly, seemingly coming out of nowhere, a hawk flew right across the highway - low, barely skimming the tops of the cars it seemed - right in front of me. And right behind him came another hawk, whose wings fluttered and he faltered a little, and then, amazingly, he straightened himself out and caught right up with the other hawk and off they flew, looking strong and regal as only hawks can look.
And suddenly I knew that our “elder” twin is going to be fine - that his wings may flutter a bit, and he may have faltered, but he WILL catch up with his brother, and we will have two strong young hawks to raise.
I went up to the hospital with my daughter again last night (she and her husband spend the day up there while their 8-year-old is in school, and then Dad does 4 - 8 and Mom does 8 - 12 with the boys.) Now that I’m back at work, I’ve just been doing Mom’s night shift with her. Not that they have to be up there all that time, you understand: it’s just that they feel the boys need to be held and cuddled by them as much as possible, and I, of course, agree. The ICU nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors and all just seem to love them (and the boys) and make them feel very welcome, and considering that it’s a far from optimum situation, it’s been made manageable by some very caring and highly skilled professionals.
Now don’t ask me about my eating, because it STILL isn’t very good, although I’ve tried to keep the calories down and fiber up. I’m doing okay as far as the fiber is concerned, but I KNOW my calorie count is too high, and I doubt that I’ll weigh myself today. (Cowardly, that’s me!)
I’m off for my Saturday morning trip to the grocery store (ugh) and then, perhaps outdoors a bit today before I go up to see the boys later on. It’s predicted to be reaching 60 degrees around here, but rain tomorrow, so I’d like to catch some sunshine and breathe in a little fresh air while I can.
Oh! Folks have been asking for pictures of the boys, and I DO have to report this: On Wednesday night, I took my DH’s super-dooper top-of-the-line digital camera with me to the hospital (promising to guard it with my LIFE) and took about 8 “perfect” shots of the boys. They certainly LOOKED perfect in that little window you can look into before you snap, anyway <shrug>. Got home all excited, downloaded them onto my desktop, and they all look like impressionistic paintings! In other words, BLURRY and useless. DH says he’ll get me “one of those throwaway Kodaks” that you just aim and snap - no delicate adjustments required. Bah, humbug! Anyway, I’ll try to post some as soon as I can.
Have a great weekend, one and all.
Well, the saga that began on Monday when my daughter was admitted to the hospital six weeks ahead of her due date because she had preclampsia finally ended last night when she delivered two beautiful, identical twin boys. Her huband, her sister (my other daughter), her best friend, her mother-in-law and I were pretty much there around the clock, with quick runs home to shower and change in between. She was constantly monitored by a high-risk pregnancy team who managed to keep her stable long enough to get two steroid shots into her 24 hours apart to help the boy’s lungs get ready to breathe on their own.”Baby A” was born at 9:27 last night weighing 4 lbs 3 oz, and “Baby B” was born at 9:42 weighing 4 lbs 13 oz. We - the other grandma and I - got to go upstairs to the neonatal intensive care unit about an hour later to see them with their dad. Omigoodness. They are like perfect little miniature angels! They both held my (super-clean, scrubbed with anti-bacterial foam) little finger in their tiny little fists, and I just melted into a puddle on the floor, of course. DH and I will be heading up there soon so that he can see them - and my daugher, naturally, who is doing fine now that the babies have been born.
On another note, I may not be able to weigh myself on schedule this coming Saturday because catching meals in hospital cafeterias when you’re tired and stressed out seems to lead to overindulging in stuff you wouldn’t normally eat. Ack.
Back later -
And I feel better already! It was in the low fifties yesterday and is supposed to be in the mid-fifties today. Yesterday it felt downright tropical to me! (Stop laughing, Island Girl!!!!!) ANYway, after all the busy-ness last weekend (daughter’s baby shower that had a cast of thousands, and at which she received everything and more that she will possibly need for those two little munchkins) I went to her house afterwards with my other two daughters, and we helped put the finshing touches on the nursery, which is beautiful, and the men spent some time puting together the double stroller, swings, a co-sleeper (Didn’t have THOSE when I had my babies, let me tell you) high chairs, etc. THEN we ordered Chinese food from one of the best Chinese food restaurants on the east coast (which just happens to be in Worcester!) - non-greasy, non-MSG delicious! (And I ate some, yes I did). Sunday was pretty much more of the same. I also went over and cooked dinner for them a couple of nights after I got home from work during the week. My daughter’s ankles and legs are swelling some, and she needs to be off them as much as she can.
So, we’ll be bringing dinner over again today, but yesterday I had a chance to get back to my regular routine, which was nice. I headed out to do the grocery shopping, made a few stops at my fave clothing-type stores and bought a few nice things for myself for spring. Got home, DH helped me put everything away, and then we headed over to Home Depot to get some plants and some ceiling fans. I want them (the fans) hung in the master bedroom and the guest bedroom. And, DH has put narrow glass shelves across my two kitchen windows 4 shelves on each window) and I have a variety on plants on them, but wanted a few more (in honor of spring approaching) so we got some potted plants, too. We’ll wait a month or so for the outdoors plantings - New England is a little quirky in that you can be in the midst of glorious spring weather and wake up one morning to a snow storm. My birthday is mid-April, and there has been snow on my birthday a number of times over the years.
Anyway, after leaving Home Depot, we drove up to the reservoir in a neighboring town and got out and walked a bit and enjoyed the sunshine. Then we took ourselves out to supper and stopped at a fabric shop where I found some gorgeous stuff to make into a runner for my dining room table. 40% off the usual $39.99 a yard, and all we needed was a yard, so I was quite pleased with myself at my masterful bargain shopping.
Then home to a Netflix movie and a bowl of low-cal butterscotch pudding with lite whipped cream and Fiber One cereal sprinkled on top. Yum. I have, incidentally (Tah-daaaaahhhhh!) lost another pound and a half this past week. Yay,me.
Now I am off to the kitchen to make us our Sunday morning blueberry pancakes (from Fiber One pancake mix & fresh blueberries), sugar-free maple syrup, and turkey breakfast sausages. If you haven’t tried the Fiber One pancake mix, I highly recommend it. It takes a little juggling to get just the right amount of water, but once you get a consistency that you like, it’s easy to do. Okay. my mouth is watering just typing this. I hope we get out for a walk again today. That walk around the reservoir yesterday was utterly glorious!
Keep the faith, you lovely people, you -
Just when you truly believe you have grown so old and cynical that nothing much can touch you anymore, you go and get touched. I went this morning with my daughter to have her ultrasound, which she’s been having every two weeks since they discovered that she is having twin boys. She is due to be induced on April 19 (Have I mentioned that that’s my birfday??? :-)) if she hasn’t delivered by then. I suspect she may not make it that far, though. The boys are 4.7 and 5.2 pounds respectively. They could be born anytime now, and should do nicely. But of course if she can prolong it for a while longer, that would be best. But the ultrasound! These little guys are bouncing around in there, jockeying for position, and grinning like crazy. Yep. Grinning. They were able to get full shots of both of their faces on the ultrasound camera, and they both looked mighty happy. Well, baby B seems to be pushing Baby A over rather forcefully, but Baby A is no slouch; he’s holding his own in those cramped quarters of theirs. I can’t even begin to describe how it felt to see their faces - and see their little hearts beating away nice and rhythmically, and they’re even, according to the technician, practicing breathing - you can see their little diaphragms moving up and down. It was downright miraculous, is what it was. Amazing grace.
The big baby shower is this Saturday, and then Sunday will be spent putting the finishing touches on the nusery. The cribs have already been put together and set up, and the bureau and changing table/cabinet have to be done. And curtains need hanging, the rug needs to go down. Then our little twins can come on out whenever they’re ready.
I’ve walked faithfully every day this week with that overly-cheery Leslie Sansone, and have kept to no more than 1400 calories a day. Hopefully, I will have dropped another pound or two by weekend. I caught a glimpse of myself in the bedroom mirror the other day while I was getting dressed, and it was pretty painful, let me tell you. I went off to work feeling distinctly whale-like. I must do better, and that’s the truth. With me, it’s not even about being glamorous or sexy anymore. I just want to be healthy and remain limber and able to walk and do a little rock climbing and ride my beloved bicycle when the weather’s a bit nicer. And I really and truly feel a need to spend some time at the ocean this summer, and would like to wear a bathing suit without feeling embarrassed.
And I need to be a energetic as possible because it looks like my nephew’s brain tumor has started growing again, and he’s to start back on chemotherapy. So in between helping my daughter with the new babies, I’ll most likely be flying down to N.C. fairly regularly to drive my sister and David to Duke Medical Center, which is about 300 miles from where they live up in the mountains. Once David gets going with the chemo, he won’t be up to driving, and my sis is a nervous wreck, so we don’t want her driving, either. And the poor guy just bought a new house with a move-in planned for next month. I don’t know what we’ll do about that. I guess maybe just hire movers that will come in and pack for him as well as move him. What rotten luck. He’s been in remission for three years now.
Well, bedtime for Bonzette - one last day of work tomorrow. You all enjoy your weekends, you hear?