Friday, April 29, 2016

Project 52 - Lashes - Week 17


Jesse was in South Dakota for 5 days and took my camera with him. What to do? Do I skip this week? Do I use my point and shoot? Do I plan on taking a picture during one of the 2 days he would be back? Luckily, I didn't try very hard to sell my old Nikon D80 camera and decided to pull that out. While I love my new camera, it was fun to play with the one in which I learned so much about photography on.

While Jesse was gone Riley had gymnastics, an overnight at her grandparents which included going to a church festival, a birthday party at the Roller Gardens, and swim class. Girl was busy.

I was busy too. Besides being the parent on duty for most of the time Jesse was gone, I took advantage of the time Riley was gone too. I ran a bunch of errands, went for a walk and saw a bunch of kites, worked on the yard, and watched Purple Rain (and all sorts of other Prince related videos).

I sure did miss my people, but I loved having a little me time too. Riley was also a rock star while Jesse was gone so she made everything so much easier. Really loving this age with her.

Other pictures from last weekend...

Kite cemetery

We went to the Roller Garden for the second weekend in a row for another birthday party. The previous week, some kid told her that they learned to roller skate by crouching down so Riley pretty much only skated that way unless I walked around with her holding her hand.

She didn't seem to care that she was the only one doing this. She had fun and that's all that mattered.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Project 52 - More Scene's from My Dad's House - Week 16


This past weekend was busy. I had to work, celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday, went to the gym, and went to a birthday party for one of Riley's friend's that I thought I would drop off and run, but ended up staying the whole two hours. In between all this I was able to find some time to go to my dad's house where I can't help but take more pictures. Mostly things that remind me of him, but also pictures of my kid enjoying herself at his house. I feel like I should provide a story for each of these pictures, but I'll let them speak for themselves.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Project 52 - Wolfe Park - Week 15


On Thursday, I toured senior housing places with my dad and one of them sits right next to a park that we love. So naturally, that night Jesse, Riley and I went to hang out there and enjoy the warm weather. I hope it's here to stay, but you never know in Minnesota as it was cold and snowy the week before. 

While my dad's in no rush to move, he wants to check out his options just in case. His brother had to unexpectedly move into assisted living and my dad doesn't want to be in that situation. I did some research based on what my dad told me he was looking for and set up tours for three places near my house. One of his doctors and the hospital is in my neighborhood so he thought it was a good place to be. Plus, I'd be nearby so I'd be able to visit more. 

Each place we looked at had it's pro's and con's so there wasn't a clear winner, but as I noted, one of them is right next to this park so it gets bonus points for that. A lot of them have great amenities, but often they were things my dad couldn't care less about (pool, library, men's card clubs). Not many of these places are going to have opportunities for cutting wood or tinkering in the garage. 

A couple days after our visit I asked my dad his thoughts now that he'd had some time to sleep on it and he said "one of the things I noticed was that everyone in those places are old". Lol, yes dad, they are and so are you.

But I got what he meant as we saw a lot of people with canes or walkers. I pointed out that we might not have seen the more active ones and noted that the folks getting off the shuttle at one of the places looked quite sprite. I'm not sure he was buying it. 

I think one of these places will be good for my dad if he can find like minded people to hang out with - to be able to build a social circle. In the meantime, I'm glad he's still able to be in his home as he's still active and strong. Plus I like being able to visit him there. I'm sure we'll all make our adjustments when the time comes, but for now we'll take each day as it is.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Day in the Life - Spring 2016

I planned to do my spring day in the life (hosted by My Life in Transition) last Saturday... and then Sunday, but I kept forgetting. Those were darn good days to feature too. Oh well. I had no idea what today would entail, but it ended up being a good sampling of our life.

Saturday 4/9/16
Riley is 6 years 2 months
Jesse is 41 and I am 44
Lucy the cat is almost 12

The night before I went to bed at a reasonable hour of 10:00 PM. Jesse came to bed moments later, but then ran downstairs for something (I later realized it was an extra blanket for him) and then came back to bed. I felt a little restless and realized I had to pee. Got up, did my business, flushed... and the toilet didn't flush right. Ugh, this toilet isn't that old, but we've had this happen a lot in the last couple years. Not sure what's going on, but there I was plunging the toilet to fix it. Once resolved, I hopped back in bed and was still having trouble falling asleep as I was also cold so I grabbed the throw blanket that was on the floor and put on my eye mask. I haven't been wearing my eye mask as much lately, but I wore it almost all night. That was just the trick to help me fall asleep.

2:34 - As is typical for me I wake up, go to the bathroom, and go back to bed.

3:37 - Riley yells out for me a couple times, but Jesse is up and in her room while I'm still pulling myself out of bed. She had a dream where she heard a bee buzzing in her ear. Jesse is in bed with her so I give them both a reassuring pat and go back to bed. Jesse comes back to bed a couple minutes later.

5:42 - Why am I up? Oh, Riley is coughing. This is the second morning she's woken us up with a cough. Hopefully, this doesn't get worse. She's not coughing a lot, but it's enough that I'm not going back to sleep. I start doing my physical therapy stretches in bed and Jesse goes into Riley's room just before 6 am. As usual, the cat sees me doing my stretches and has to come sit on my chest. Jesse and Riley head downstairs with Riley making a very brief appearance in my room.

6:04 - I get out of bed, put on my gym clothes right away (so I stay motivated to get to the gym), make beds, and pick out clothes for Riley for the day. I go downstairs and start doing morning stuff. 

Looks like I need to do some window cleaning soon. 

I overhear Riley telling her dad that she's going to be an author when she grows up. She said she's going to start writing books when she's 20, but he reminds her that she writes books all the time now. The night before she told me about this as well and shared that it was her teacher who suggested she could do this when she grew up. Love this.

I clean up the kitchen, start the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, feed Riley and myself, and make the kitchen dirty again (it's never ending). While eating I read an article on photographing self portraits and learn something new.

 7:12 - I clean the bathroom, clean our office, and then clean the kitchen again. Jesse vacuums and starts to clean the liter box which I then finish off. At some point Riley announces from the next room that China makes a lot of things and notes that they made Shellington (a toy from the Octonauts) as well. She asks me why that is and I don't feel like trying to explain why so I say "I don't know". She responds with "maybe they like people. Maybe they want people to have a good time with toys." Yes, that's probably why, kiddo.

 Riley gets dressed and plays with her Kindle a little bit.

8:03 - Time for Riley and I to go to the gym. As I'm getting us ready to head out I notice a text from my mother in law stating that she needs a Riley fix and would like to have Riley overnight. I have a moment where I think I want Riley to stay home since I am doing my day in the life, but then I realize this would be a good thing to document since Riley's grandparents are great about spending time with her. Plus, it will give Jesse and I a chance to have a date night and Riley loves spending time at her grandparent's house.

8:17 - Jesse is getting some work done on his truck today and plans to head over to his friend's house at 8:30. It shouldn't take long, but a couple other guys are having their trucks worked on and they are all helping each other out. Basically, Jesse's adding some lights on the front for when he goes to South Dakota at the end of April (camping and hiking with some of his Tacoma truck friends he's made). He said he'll need them for off roading, which makes me a bit nervous. As I leave for the gym, he tells me "I love you" and I respond with "ok". Lol. I didn't even realize it, but he totally called me on it. Oops. I love you too, pumpkin!

I stop for gas on the way to the gym and we listen to Riley's new Taylor Swift CD. I focus on abs and triceps today and see all the usuals at the gym... the people who are far too skinny, the lady who wears the coat, the biker grandma, and my father in law's doppelganger. I even see the CEO of my company. It's busy today, but I haven't been here in a couple weeks due to going to PT three times a week and doing some extra house projects so I'm just glad I got there.

9:36 - We head home from the gym and when we walk in the door I hear a meow. I ask if it was Lucy and Riley responds "No, that was me. I'm just really good at meowing."  Riley then proceeds to love on the cat.

The look the cat gets when she sees Riley headed her way.

Patiently tolerating love from a 6 year old.

Riley gets her own snack out of the fridge and then we sit at our kitchen bar to eat while I practice a self portrait technique with my always willing sidekick. Cheese and apple for Riley and yogurt with granola for me. I start reading the newspaper and Riley points out that I get to do something, even though it's boring, and she wants to do something too. I hand her a National Geographic which features a lot of animal pictures, but also has a weird article on families who keep their deceased relatives in the home. Creepy.

10:08 - Riley asks to play with her Kindle, but I encourage her to do other things. She makes a necklace for grandma, but then can't figure out what to do. I jump in the shower and she gets together everything she needs to go to grandma and grandpa's. I get out of the shower and go upstairs to get dressed. I snap a few pictures of Riley's room now that we added her desk and I changed out all the hardware (which didn't have the standard 3 inch spacing so it was hard to find a replacement. So annoying, but I like the new drawer pulls). It's crowded and not quite decorated the way I want, but it's growing on me.

I suggest to Riley that she finish reading her library book so we can go to the library and get a new one. She goes to get it and reads me the last few chapters.

11:18 -  We walk to the library which is only a few blocks away, but the wind is biting so it's a bit uncomfortable. We have a number of chapter books at home that I want us to read so I suggest Riley get a smaller book this time, but she announces that she's into chapter books now. Ok. I don't really need a book as I am reading a book a friend gave me (Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog), but I will need a book for when I'm done with it. I pick up Purity by Jonathan Franzen which was highly recommended by another friend. Can't wait to start reading it. Riley plays at the library for awhile - they change their play area theme from time to time and right now it's all about the post office. It's nothing fancy, but Riley liked it.

We watched The Good Dinosaur the night before so she was howling like Spot and Arlo

12:19 - We're home and hungry. I make us some sandwiches and we sit at the bar again to eat. I empty the dishwasher and change out a load of laundry and Riley reads chapter one of her book Home. After lunch we play a couple rounds of a fun board game called Race to the Treasure. For the gazillionth time today she give the cat some love. She reads more of her book to me while we snuggle on the couch.

I give up. She can't hold me forever, can she?

12:54 - I bring up the laundry and pack up her bag. She did a great job at selecting clothes for the next day and pajamas for her grandparent's house.

1:30 - My eyes are bothering me so I decide I should do a warm compress as directed by my eye doc. My lower back is aching too so I give Riley 3 options: 1. read her new book, 2. play on her Kindle, or 3. do Student Resources on the computer (a bunch of learning sites through her school - mostly focuses on reading and math). She selects Student Resources and gets set up on her dad's computer and then takes a bunch of pictures of me on the ground with an ice pack under my back, a warm compress on my eyes, and a meditation app playing on the iPad. Like her mother, she takes a ton of pictures and from many angles.

2:00 - I think I fell asleep for a bit there. I force myself to get up, but I decide to take advantage of the quiet time and read for a little bit. I check on Riley, fold laundry, and go upstairs to put the laundry away.

Jesse creates these little tissue balls and throws them under the bathroom door for Lucy to chase.
They are everywhere, but I can't bring myself to pick them up because she loves playing with them.

2:46 - I tell Riley she has to get off the computer now because she's been on it forever, but also because grandma will be here any minute. We go to the couch where she reads some more of her new book to me.

2:54 - Grandma shows up! Riley is talking nonstop while Suzie and I try to check in (we talk mostly about my dad). We show grandma Riley's new desk and then off they go.

3:14 - I've got the house to myself. What should I do? I haven't heard from Jesse yet as to when he will be home, but clearly the truck stuff is taking longer than anticipated. I decide to start writing up this post while watching Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna Gaines are the cutest and I love her designs.

3:36 - Jesse texts to let me know that it won't be much longer. We decide to go out to dinner.

4:30 - Jesse's home! One of the first things he asks me is "how do you get bloodstains out?" Apparently, his buddy cut his elbow and didn't realize he was getting blood all over the car seat. Jesse cleans it up easily enough, jumps in the shower and we're out the door just before 5:00 to head to Christos for dinner. Before we get in the car he shows me his new lights and how his friend connected them. He shares that they went to Culvers for lunch. I went there long ago and thought it was gross. He used to bring it up from time to time, but I didn't think he actually wanted to go there - I thought he just wanted to get a rise out of me, but today I discovered that he thought Culvers was more like a Boston Market and he really did want to try it. He now knows it's more like a McDonald's and is fine never going there again.

Dinner is fantastic as usual. The food is great and we can talk without being interrupted. I talk about how great Riley was today... and how funny she was. Jesse talks about how he had to explain to his Tacoma friend why he had to go home. Most of them aren't married or have kids so Jesse's the old, married man trying to explain things like why we get up at 6 am. Apparently, these guys couldn't understand why our kid didn't just sleep later.

Looooves having his picture taken

Jesse's artistic shot

6:28 - Home and settled in to watch Narcos with my husband. We were watching this during my last day in the life too. It's really good, but we've been caught up in some other shows that we are watching independently so it's taking us awhile to get through this.

7:49 - We head up to our computers where Jesse continues to plan out his South Dakota trip and I write this post and edit pictures while I watch some more Fixer Upper and then listen to music.

10:28 - Whoa, where did time go? I go to wash my face, brush my teeth, etc and find all sorts of other things to do (close curtains, straighten up the dining room, etc) so by the time I slip into bed it's 10:45. I wanted to go to bed earlier, but I'm not too stressed about it since I won't have a kid waking me at 6:00 am. In the end, I did wake up at 5:30 due to the cat sitting on my chest (I was having a weird dream where the government made single women sign paper work that they wouldn't mess with their neighbor's husband. I was having a conversation with my single female neighbor and some young girls about how ridiculous it is that the government feels the need to continually make laws that make women feel less than). Luckily, I fell back asleep and woke just before 7:00.