Feel Good Jar
I realized I totally forgot to talk about going through our feel good jar at the end of the year. This was our second year doing this and actually our first full year as I think we started 'year one' in March. At any rate, I didn't peak throughout the year which seems like it would be hard to do, but wasn't after all. During the first year Jesse didn't add many slips so I tried to encourage him throughout the year. In fact, during the first year there were a couple slips that mentioned Riley and I, but other's were along the line of "wine!". So yeah, I gently prodded him to add more during this past year, but he actually added less. Three to be exact. *sigh*
Ok, maybe this isn't his thing, but this was the year that Riley embraced it full force. I loved how throughout the year she would randomly state to Jesse or myself that she wanted to add to the feel good jar. Some she wrote herself (with a little spelling help from us) and some she would dictate a list of things to us.
My favorite comments, though, probably came from Riley. There were at least four comments about how much she loved hugs from mommy. That kid is too sweet.
My birthday fell on a Monday so Jesse, Riley and I went out to dinner on the Saturday before. I wasn't feeling the greatest so I scrapped a plan to find someplace new to go. Instead we went to an area near our house that has a number of restaurants and can be quite busy. We went early to avoid the crowds, but even then there were 45 minute waits at the first two places we went to. Eventually, we found a place with immediate seating and then followed dinner up with some frozen yogurt. Not much different from a regular day, but still nice.
I never take my birthday off of work, but had planned to this year and treat myself with a massage or something. As the day neared, I actually debated working since I was still in the hole for PTO from getting sick at the end of December. I still wasn't feeling well so in the end I decided to go to the doctor on my birthday. I guess that could be considered a way to pamper myself since I was taking care of myself, but not really what I wanted to do. I still had a cough and asthma symptoms so the doctor put me on some new meds to address it. One doesn't do much, but the other lets me breath normal again so that's pretty exciting (and as of a couple weeks ago my cough is finally gone). Now that I've been on the medications for a month I need to check back in with my doctor to see what the plan is moving forward. I forgot to take it one day a couple weeks ago and went right back into having issues with breathing. I hope this asthma thing isn't a long term issue. I appreciate the ability to breath normally soooooo much.
Oh, and Jesse didn't get me a gift again this year, but did get me a card which was an improvement over last year. Yeah, we had a talk about it. Not sure why it's so hard for him, but I think I might just have to plan a getaway for myself next year... or I might invite him or go with a friend. Whatever it is I will just have to take control to make sure I feel special on my birthday. And to be clear, he wasn't a jerk - he was actually really loving and attentive on this day so I don't want to paint him to be a total jerk, because he's not. He's actually a really awesome guy.
Also, while I am totally ok with being 43, it's weird to know that I am way closer to 50 than I am to 25.
My Birth Family
We've been invited to a couple birthday parties in my birth family recently and were able to make one of them. I feel bad that we missed my birth grandma's birthday party, but it was on my dad's birthday. The following weekend we did make it to my niece's 2nd birthday party for her 'pool paw-ty'. She loves puppies so the party was dog themed, including snacks in dog dishes. They have a couple large dogs and my sister in law is a vet so it seemed like it all tied in together.
The party was at the AmercInn so I wasn't sure how it was going to work, but they had a party room right off the pool so it was a pretty decent set up. It was determined that I would be the designated pool parent for Riley which was fine with me. I enjoy floating in the water with my kid.
Riley's still pretty hesitant about being in the water and really needs more experience. We keep talking about getting her in swimming lessons, but these dance lessons turned out to be such a commitment that I think we are waiting until it warms up a little and for the end of the dance lessons to be in sight. At any rate, Riley basically clung on to me in the water and would freak out if I tried to move her a little. Apparently, she doesn't trust me much and must think I'm going to dunk her or something. Eventually, I did get her to stand in the shallow part and she was delighted once she realized the could touch the ground and still have her head above water. She somehow gained the courage to let go of me and would walk back and forth to me as I was a couple feet away. Eventually, she started raising herself out of the pool and then sliding back in while Jesse and I gave each other gazes of amazement.
|Her armpits were in a death grip on my hands |
since she thought I was going to drop her.
After playing in the water we ate cake (or Riley did) and watched Rowan open her gifts while also watching my other niece, Maddison, explore the room.
|Riley was very proud of the card she made Rowan and Rowan seemed especially drawn to the ninja book we got her.|
|Riley and grandpa Leo|
Riley has requested to specifically go back to this pool since she can touch the ground in it. Hopefully, our gym pool is the same way. We just need to make it a habit to go to the pool more often.
Edit: I totally forgot to mention one of my favorite parts of this day. My, um, step-birth niece? - My birth sister's half brother's daughter? Anyway, she's a twin and I never see them enough to know who is who, but one of the twins was saying her goodbyes and came right up to me to give me a big hug and a kiss. It was so sweet since she barely knows me and it totally made my day.
Since Diablo passed away a few weeks ago we are all getting used to life without him. Since I no longer have an elaborate food prep for him in the morning I have to constantly remind myself to fill the water dish with fresh water (it was just part of the old process) for Lucy. Poor Lucy has probably had a little stale water here and there, but I'm getting better at it. A couple weeks in we decided to reset the cat feeder to really crack down on her food consumption. We want her to lose some weight for health reasons and it was hard to control when we had two cats on very different foods. She's absolutely obsessed with food and will create great destruction - mostly with toilet paper when she doesn't get food when she wants it. However, while there have been some damaged TP in the house, her favorite thing to do when hungry is get right in my face. Lucky me.
|Where's my food?|
When Diablo first died I felt inclined to give her extra love and attention, but then she started doing all her annoying 'in your face' stuff. I really want to enjoy her as much as Diablo, but no. She can be super sweet, but just too much.
Anyway, I think she's doing ok, but may be a little lonely. I think I am her Diablo replacement, which doesn't really surprise me. I am the cat lady in the house, after all.
I've been having a lot of dreams lately and the one I had last night was disturbing. I don't remember a lot of the details, but I do remember living in a different world (in the future, on another planet... not quite sure). Mostly what I remember is that residents were not valued and were often turned into slaves... and when no longer useful, they were disposed of (in a horrible way). I woke up crabby and had a hard time shaking it (and it might be setting the tone for this post now that I think about it - complaining about the hubby and Lucy).
But the dream wasn't as disturbing as the one I had Sunday night. I won't go into too many details, but I remember soooo many it's weird. My brother Scott was in the dream and my current house was his home. In real life, this brother did live in this house as a kid and passed away about 7 years ago. Anyway, I remember sitting at his desk waiting for him to get up when I noticed a small, maybe inch by inch, lined paper that was on a stand on his desk. On the top, it said "Frank" which is my dad's name and below it had the definition of "Frank". I don't remember the entire thing, but I clearly remember it saying "hero" and it might have said "friend". One other part of the dream that stood out is that I found a bunch of yellow legal paper that was written on hidden under the sidewalk. Makes me want to dig up that specific sidewalk panel once it thaws out to see if there is anything there.
There was another part of the dream where my dad and I were helping my brother move out of a duplex and we were going through some stuff in a shed. Scott pulled out an old animal like puppet and commented on how my sister, Karen, and I gave that to him and he had some gifts to give us in return. I don't remember seeing my sister in the dream, but know she was standing behind me. (I also remember the silver and black hair binder that was in the puppet animal's hair - those are the sorts of itty bitty details that I remember in these dreams). oh, and I woke before he gave us the gifts so I have no idea what it was.
I don't know about you, but I feel a little weird when I dream about people in my life that have passed away. People who end up in my dreams normally are those that I just saw or emailed... or even read a blog post about before going to bed. But when dead people who I haven't talked to in 7 years visit me in a dream, I just don't know. Plus, with my dad just turning 87 (and his two siblings dying in the last year) I worry that my time with him is limited and that there was some message in this dream about that. I have to say I wanted to call him right away after having this dream to make sure he was ok, but since I had just talked to him I couldn't think of one reason to call without it being weird - "Just want to make sure you are alive, dad". Today, I used the snowfall to call him and he sounded great.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. That's what's been happening lately. I think we are all looking forward to some warmer weather soon and are even thinking about the summer getaway we want to go on. Right now we are thinking of the Badlands... Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug, the Corn Palace, Crazy Horse... Have you been? What would you suggest for places to stay or see? It's been probably 35 years since I went and I'm sure some things have changed.