Friday, November 28, 2008

"Then I take a nap ..."

Scenes From Thanksgiving 2008:

Chaos In The Kitchen

"Oooh, there's Daddy with the camera! Pick me up, Daddy!"

"Pick me upppppp!"

"OK, crying didn't work ... on to Plan B. "

"Hi Daddy!"
"Never mind. Nana'll do it."


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Thankful for the moment ..."

It's been a little crazy. Trust me.


Just in time for Thanksgiving, I'm here with a list of some of the things for which I am thankful. My list is totally random and is subject to change at any moment.

Wanna hear it? Here it goes:

~ Family ... that one goes without saying.

~ My health ... so dear these days, now that I'm a Grandma. And considering the sounds of the coughing from downstairs (Jimmy has pneumonia and an almost-eardrum-rupturing ear infection), I am noting each hour that I feel great.

~ Gasoline that costs $1.69 a gallon at Costco.

~ Precious Squish, who means more to me with each passing day.

~ Wine. Most especially Pinot Grigio. Or whatever's in the box in the refrigerator.

~ Our home. For all my complaining and wanting it all to be new and pretty, I'm aware that I am safe and warm and dry every night of my life. Quite comfortable, even! (But really ... the stove and the kitchen floor have got to go.)

~ The beach. Haven't laid eyes on one since late July, but I know they're still there, waiting for me.
~ My crazy plan to "take a little class at Greenville Tech" is finally coming to an end tonight!
~ Chocolate.

~ Friendly friends, even though it's been too long since I've seen a single one of those beetches.

~ A new (upscale! LahDeDah) Wal-mart, almost next door. Yay, traffic!

~ A space heater that blasts the Heat of Hell right here next to my feet as I waste time on the Internet every day.
~ Speaking of the Internet, thank you, Al Gore. I'll be doing a lot of my Christmas shopping right here with my space heater.

~ Music. What would life be without a soundtrack? (And really, you haven't heard good music until you've heard the Squishy one sing "up above the world so high".)

~ I'm REALLY thankful that I can finally replace my aggravating "Chocolate" cell phone in February.

~ My bed. Seriously, I love it. And I'm thankful for the 600-thread count 100% cotton sheets, and the down comforter, too.
~ Did I mention my family? My kids, my husband, my granddaughter, my sisters, my mother, my in-laws, my nieces, and my nephews ... they are everything to me.


Are you still out there? Let me know by leaving a comment, telling me what you're most thankful for this week!

Friday, November 07, 2008

"What a difference a day makes ..."

On this day, last year, change came to our family ...

This is what change looks like now ...
(Pardon the blurriness of the last picture. She won't stay still long enough to get a clear shot.)

Her gift to me this week has been the presence of her company for 3 days instead of our usual one afternoon. Too sick to do daycare, she came and enjoyed Nana's rocking chair for a couple of days. And yesterday, I got to go along as she had her "One Year" portraits taken, and then had the rest of the day to watch her run around here.

I've started calling her our "Demolition Derby Girl" because ... well, because that's how she rolls. No fear.

Change may have come to America this week, but change came to my house on November 7, 2007.

Happy Birthday, My Squish. I love you!

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Steady on ..."


For real.

And besides, there's no pleasant way for me to discuss the horrendous Clemson - Wake Forest game last night. Ugh.

I did survive my final exam. And I have to go BACK to class on Monday to pick up my packet for my two weeks of clinicals. Still don't know where I'll be assigned.

More fun for next week: Engineer's Poker at my house. Jimmy won last month's game, so yay. I'll be cleaning the house, making lasagna, and then watching TV in my bedroom until the festivities end, promptly at 10 PM.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"No little girl can stop her world to wait for me ..."

Seriously, I can hardly believe that today marks the 11th month since Miss Squish arrived on the scene. She's packed a lot of growing into those short 11 months, no?

(The picture above was taken on Friday, October 3rd. She was all smiles for her Aunt Patti, Uncle Michael, and Cousin Hallie.)

I totally enjoyed last weekend with our visitors from the south. We hiked around downtown Greenville all afternoon on Saturday, and then rewarded ourselves with beer (wine for me), and fried stuff from Liberty Tap Room. I wish they would come and visit more often ... maybe if I fed 'em better, they might consider it.


So my class is winding down. Tomorrow night is the big (open book) final exam. I know, I know. Open book, how hard could it possibly be? To tell you the truth, I've been studying a lot. The book is full of stuff that confuses me.

We have one week "off", then for the last two weeks of October I'll be spending my days in an ophthalmologist's office ... hopefully just "observing". I don't feel ready to actually touch a patient. I mean it.

On November 5th, we'll have a little graduation ceremony, and the the week after that, I'll start a quick review class for 8 nights. It makes no sense to me either. But they stressed that it was important. So I'll be there.

Last night, we had a little party to celebrate the fact that we all survived the 10-week class. And I got surprised with gifts. Apparently I was the only one of the 16 of us that made 100 on each and every test we took. (We had a test almost every class.) One of the instructors made me a crown with eyeballs. And I wore it, too. (For a minute or two.)

And one of my classmates made a little cake for me! Is that cute, or what? They really surprised me, and made me smile.


I lost my voice on Saturday, and it's still not to be found.


The last update I had from Georgia about New Baby Etta said that everything was going well. Melody got to go home on Friday, and Etta is still hanging out with the nurses at the hospital. She's eating like a Stark and no longer under the jaundice lamp. I know it won't be long before she's home with her two Moms and partying all night long.


One more picture of Squish, just for Auntie Em who misses her so much. This was taken last Thursday, October 2nd, on the swings at the neighborhood park. Swingin's one of her favorite things!

(I don't think that the elephant on her shirt necessarily means she's endorsing McCain. She's not sayin', one way or the other.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful? ..."

What a whirlwind our life has been since ... oh, I don't know, 2007? Seriously though, this last weekend was keerazy.

I was all prepared to go and host the games portion of Melody's baby shower on Saturday afternoon. We packed up, and were heading out to Georgia on Friday morning, when Laura called to tell us Mel had been admitted to a tiny little hospital in Podunk Alabama (where their doc normally delivers). The bed rest wasn't doing the trick, and her urine protein levels had shot up overnight. Her doctor was on the ball, and that's a good thing.

We went on down, and really enjoyed our time there. Squish came with her Mom and Dad, to provide the entertainment for the weekend, and let me tell you, she earned her paycheck! She couldn't have been sweeter and more fun if she tried.

Here's Squish sitting in her new favorite chair at Grandma's house:

And here she is, trying to decide whether to answer her cell phone,
or listen to Grandma read a story:

Jimmy and his brother Michael spent a good portion of Friday evening moving furniture for my mom. And you know that any time spent moving furniture means beer must be consumed. Only Jimmy chose to drink some 40-year-old homemade wine he found at my Uncle's house as they loaded the furniture to be moved. I think it was supposed to be red, but it wasn't. It was muddy brown, and smelled like poisonous death in a bottle. Jimmy loved it. And he lived, too.

On Saturday afternoon, we loaded up our baby gifts and drove to Podunk Alabama, where Melody and Laura were holding court in a teeny hospital room.
We visited as long as we could, and Squish got reacquainted with her Great Aunt Laura:

After we said our goodbyes, the real party started. Mel's protein shot up once again, and her doctor rang the alarm. She was to be transported to the big neonatal unit at a hospital in Columbus GA. Stat. Thank Jeebus.

Frances and I went for a visit there on Sunday afternoon, and while I was thrilled to see them in a much nicer facility, I was worried. Mel looked worn out, and so did Laura.

Jimmy and I drove back home Sunday night (after stopping for a quick picnic at West Point Lake with Michael, Patti, & family) to begin a new week, with exhaustion in our bones.

At 1:22 AM today, my phone rang. Laura was calling to say they'd have a baby within the hour. The baby's heart rate was dropping, so the doctor said, "Now!" And at 2:22 AM, she was born. She's the tiniest baby ... only 2 pounds, 13 ounces, and 14.25 inches long. But she's breathing on her own, crying, and looking around. Her name is Etta Jayne. And I'm her Aunt Dawn. Hee!

I feel so much happiness for this new family.

Isn't she lovely?

Friday, September 19, 2008

"That little spot on the ground is my hometown ..."

Look, I'm flying an airplane!
Not really ... he was doing all the work.

And I was glad of it too. Look at all that:

This is downtown Greenville,
and I know this because the pilot told me so.

It's Death Valley! (I knew this all by myself.)

I was trying to get a shot of Tillman Hall on the Clemson campus,
and I did. Sort of.
Is that it in the lower left corner?

Lake Keowee ...
where do all those people with the fancy lake houses and boats get their money?
(I'm buying a lottery ticket today.)

This is a scary black-haired lady with her pilot-son.
She's pretty proud.

Thanks Adam. I will always remember yesterday morning. I've added it to the multitude of happy memories of you I store in my heart. In fact, I'm putting it right next to the memory of you, in the driveway at about 2 years old, pointing excitedly into the air, saying, "Heh-cop-er! Heh-cop-er!"
I'm a lucky mom.
So, yeah ... black hair. I was worried that I might scare Miss Squish yesterday, but she didn't seem to notice. She's got good social skills already.
I've had highlights all summer long, and this week I decided I'd tell the hair girl to put me back darker again. Wow. She follows instructions too well. My hair is solid black. Almost blue. And she cut the living daylights out of it too. I look ridiculous. This was at a salon with a great reputation too ... with the reputable prices, as well.
Seriously, I cried. And I spent the entire first day in the shower, trying to wash it out. No luck. Since then, I've pulled it away from my face with a hairband, and pretended I was one of those crazy old ladies who think they look young with blue-black hair. *whimper*
Today, I will try again at yet another "reputable" salon. Please send me some good hair vibes. I have to go out in public again next week.
This weekend, I'll be working on my resume. We have to submit them to the instructor for approval next week. It might take me all weekend to try to make my sketchy work history seem like a good thing to a potential employer. I'll take some happy vibes in that department too.
We also have the big "Medical Terminology" test on Tuesday next week. And it's not open book. We did play a review game last week, split into two teams ... and my team won. The prize was an extra five points on the test. Score!
Speaking of good vibes, I'm using all mine up by sending some to Brandy's Pawpaw (Adam's & Squish's, too) who is in the hospital, dealing with some rough times. He's such a sweet man, and I send love to everybody who is worried about him.

Also, to Sisters Melody and Laura ... Mel was put on bedrest this week, due to some high blood pressure and stuff. I know they're scared, but I have every confidence that they will have a happy ending, just like I did with the whole pre-eclampsia thing when I was pregnant with Adam. Love , love, love ... to all three of you.

And the walking begins ...
There's a video of some of her first steps over at her Daddy's blog, if you want to see the momentous stuff in my life these days.

September 14, 2008
This is her "sleepy face", which totally turns me to mush.
She spent last Saturday night at our house, and I took this just after she woke up.
(She's sitting on the hearth, which I finally covered with an old comforter to lessen the chances of a trip to the ER.)
Yesterday 9/18/08
See? She wasn't scared of Black-Haired Nana.
And finally ... her new face, guaranteed to get her anything she wants.
She does this randomly, and I think it's the cutest damn thing ever!
If anybody knows how to fix the Blogger glitches that plague me to death every time I add a picture to my page here, I hope you'll share the knowledge. When I add pictures, my spacing goes to hell. My paragraphs are gone, and no matter how many times I try to edit and put them back, when I click "publish", everything is all smooshed together again.
Also, why are some pictures "clickable", meaning you can click to see a larger version ... and some aren't? I have looked and LOOKED to find a way to solve these issues, and Blogger won't cooperate. The bastard.
Maybe this means I'm too stoopid to have a blog.
Hush, you.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Everything old is new again ..."

The Daddy (10 months old in 1981)
& The Daughter (10 months old in 2008)
... and corn.

(You can click on the pictures to see a larger version.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

"You're young until you're not ..."

It's Birthday Season again! At least it is in our house. Yesterday, Brandy celebrated Year 29 (for real). Tomorrow, Adam will see #28. And then, before we get all the cake eaten, it'll be November and time to celebrate Emilie, Squish, and Jimmy.

Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year? I crave Fall. It's not here yet, but we've had a couple of days in the 70's, and I am anticipating it like crazy! Of course, the weekend temps are forecast to be back up to the 90's, so whatever. I may go ahead and hang my fall wreath on the door anyway.


Looking forward to my first flight with Adam next week! I had hoped he could take me up on his birthday, and I could get all mushy and sentimental: "28 years ago today, I could never have imagined what a fine, smart, incredible man you'd be ... now look at you, piloting this plane and taking your old Mom for a ride!" Eh, he'd hate that.

Anyway, the plane was all booked for tomorrow, so he has scheduled us for an early morning flight on Wednesday. I'll be waving, so look up on your way to work.


Yesterday, during my regularly scheduled Squishy time, since the weather was so nice, we loaded up the stroller, and walked to the park. She spotted the ducks (geese?) as soon as we got there. Sooo excited! She kept saying, "Duh! Duh!" What a smart little bug she is. I sat on the swings with her in my lap, and she almost fell asleep. She watched a man who was fly-fishing on the mudhole (that's what I like to call our little lake in the park), and she never let those quackers get out of her sight. Later, I put her in the baby swing ... she wasn't too sure of it at first, but loved it after she got the feel of it. Next time I'll take the camera.

She will be walking on her own in the next few days, it seems certain. And she's pretty excited about that!


Still plugging along at the class I'm taking ... still pulling down those 100's on the daily tests. I took the first of three non-open-book tests last week, and scored 100 on that too. I'm a freakin' genius, no? (That was sarcasm, in case you can't hear my voice.)


Today, I'm off to plan a birthday dinner for Squish's Mom and Dad, and then I'll make a run to Publix to buy what's needed. After that, some serious time with the Dyson must be spent. The cat hair is taking over our world.


Here's what you came for:

Taken August 29, 2008

She loves to sit on Nana's stairs.
Only they're off-limits with a gate now.
Looking at herself in the mirror, with her new shades on:
(pay no attention to the scary Nana behind her)
September 7, 2008
10 months old:

If you're a family member, this picture will cause a time-warp in your brain. We have this exact same shot of Squish's Daddy, chewing on a corn cob. One of these days, I'll take the time to scan it and do a side-by-side comparison.

"Ooooh Mama, your hat is the bomb!"

P.S. There are some pictures of her week at the beach over at her Dad's blog. The links on the right, if you need it.

Friday, September 05, 2008

"Breathing just to breathe ..."

Did you think I forgot about making a "regular" Friday update here? Yeah, well.

How was your Labor Day weekend? Mine was a'ight. A lot of driving, a lot of wine, and a little bit of visiting with family ... we drove to Georgia on Saturday morning and drove back late Monday night.

I was embarrassed that the food I took to share with Michael and Patti was horrendous. I guess the carrots I used to make the yummified carrot cake were old. I can't think of any other reason that they baked in the cake and turned out tough as a chicken gizzard. You couldn't chew those damn carrots.

And then I baked Applesauce Bread from a Paula Deen cookbook, which proved that not everything with her name on it tastes good. Blech. Even Jimmy -- the eater of all unwanted food -- said, "I want to like it, but I just can't."

Maybe I'll give up cooking for awhile. Oh wait. I've already done that.

It was good to see everybody, and I guess I'll see most of them again in about 3 weeks when I head back down there again for Laura and Melody's baby shower.


Thinking tonight about Em and Jud, who will weather their first tropical storm/hurricane when Hanna heads into Wilmington about midnight. Hopefully Ike will keep his distance next week.


No baby pictures ... our Squish was at the beach all week. I think they are making an early drive home tonight, again due to Hanna. I am having Squishy withdrawals!


Didn't watch the pathetic Clemson loss to Alabama last Saturday night ... I was knee deep in a vat of wine and my sister-in-law's swimming pool. Maybe my rapt attention is what they need, and this week will be a better game, with me watching, and all. One can hope!


On Sunday, Miss Squish will be 10 months old. 2008 is flying.

Next week, my first-born baby-child will be 28. My LIFE is flying.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Sad to say, I miss my friends ..."

August is determined to fly on outta here, is it not? I swear. I know I was in Wilmington when it began. And when I came home, I started those infernal classes 3 nights a week. Other than that, I can't figure a good reason that the month has all but disappeared for me.

Yesterday would have been my Dad's 84th birthday. I can't imagine him at that elderly age. I did think about him many times yesterday, especially during my hours with Miss Squish. He would have simply adored her. I like to think that some of his love that was left floating around overhead has landed on her.

I miss you, Daddy.


Other than going to class, and ... uh, nuthin', I've been doing the same old, same old since I updated here last week. I did get another nice chance for some time with Miss S. last Saturday when her Mama and Daddy went boating with friends. And then Sunday, we cooked dinner and took it over to their house to share a meal together. Well, I prepared a meal ... Adam did the actual grilling of the meat. It was a nice weekend!


Now that the Olympic games are over, what the heck are we going to do with ourselves? Ohhhh yeah, the conventions are starting. (blech) Somehow I don't think that's going to work for Jimmy's high-def fix every night.


Congrats to Michael and Patti, celebrating (I don't know how many) years of happily-ever-after tomorrow! I do remember that they got married the same August that Greenville had "the big flood" ... I just don't remember what year that was.

Happy Anniversary, you two. We'll celebrate THAT next weekend, too.


MAN. I wish I had something to write about.

But since I don't, let's move on to the newest pictures, shall we? I left our camera over at the kids' house on Sunday, so I missed an opportunity to get some pictures from yesterday. (She was awesome, as usual ... she played hard, she napped hard, and she rang the living daylights out of Daddy's old brass bell that hangs in our kitchen. I thought that was pretty cool, since it was his birthday.)

The first pictures were taken last Saturday ... she was standing at the table beside my chair, and pretty damn proud of herself.

New Trick Alert! If she's in a mood to play along, you can now say, "Gimme a kiss!" And then make a kissy sound ... and she'll think a while, and then kiss right back. It's guaranteed to make my eyes get all misty. Still haven't had luck getting her to actually kiss my cheek, but I have no doubt she'll figure that out soon. I was lucky on Saturday to actually catch her doing it:

(Sorry about the overexposed face on those last 2 ... there wasn't a lot of space where we were sitting, and I had to hold the camera too close to her face.)

"I will not 'kiss' again, Nana! Deal with it."

This was taken on Sunday, over at her house. She'll be walking on her own, soon!


And yeah, I really do miss my friends.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Why would you care to get out of this place? ..."

Greetings from The Land Of Denial.

Oh, before I start rambling, I'd like to send some very warm and sincere wishes for a great day today to my brother-in-law, Michael. Today is his *cough*ty-eighth birthday! He is one half of my very favorite in-laws. And I miss them both. Happy Birthday, Michael!

So how's my class going, you ask? Eh. We "learned" to put in eye drops on Wednesday. We practiced. And practiced. My eyes were dripping the next day, even.

Why am I taking this class, again? Someone remind me. Wasn't my life just fine the way it was?


Looks like a quiet weekend ahead. No plans so far. Maybe I'll howl at the full moon on Saturday night, just for old time's sake.


Are you watching the Olympics? Jimmy watches a little every night, and I usually catch up on things by watching The Today Show.
Again, eh.

That seems to be the theme for the Dawn's Summer of 2008: "Eh."

Of course I'm watching Big Brother ... wouldn't be summer without it. For the record, I'm pulling for Dan, but wouldn't be upset if Renny went on to the end, either. She's a hoot. I was pulling for the old guy, Jerry, until he opened his mouth. What an ass.


Oy. I'm so boring.

As always, the highlight of my week is Thursday Afternoon With The Squishy One. The nickname stuck, but she's not as squishy as she used to be. She's growing so tall, so fast! Yesterday, she wanted to crawl, and she was serious about it. I crawled around after her, to make sure she stayed safe from Maggie The Cat.
Carpet-crawling, I can do. Once she hit the foyer or the kitchen though ... ouch. My knees can't take the abuse, so I settled for scooting on my butt behind her. I'm sure we were a sight.

The theme for this Thursday was "LOUD"! She was trying out her volume settings, and was truly entertaining herself by seeing how loud she could talk. Heee! She totally amazes me. I know I'll blink a couple more times and she'll be walking. And then the next day, she'll be moving into her dorm at Clemson.

Some pictures from yesterday:

Everything must be tasted:

Including baby feet:

There's not much better in the world, I'm telling you the truth.