Archive for October, 2010

Daddy’s Home!

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Manolis got back from Greece a week ago. First time ever his plane wasn’t late!! Maria reached out for him while he was still walking toward us (awesome!), and then when he picked her up, she was doing her back-arching thing (not so awesome). She’s been in a much better mood since he’s been back, but I think she’s still a little mad at him because she turns her head (while smiling) when he comes up to kiss her. As the days have passed, at least she’s hugging him now. She’s gotten more affectionate in the past 5 months — she hugs more often and holds on tighter for longer, and she rubs (pets) our arms and backs more. Very sweet.

I took Manolis to the ear/nose/throat guy Monday. The cauterized his nose (again!) but he’s still having some trouble with it, so not sure what to do. They cleaned his ears and he’s less dizzy. Did a hearing test, but we had to leave before they gave us the results–we’d been there 90 minutes and I had to be at Maria’s school for her field trip. Tuesday I took him to the eye doc. He has to have surgery on his eye in December — the white part is growing into the iris (gross!). Doc says it’s no big deal (easy for him to say!), but he seems good, competent, not so arrogant as the nose doc.

Maria’s field trip Monday was fun! It was sponsored by the fire fighters, so they had their fire hoses out, they used the jaws of life to destroy a car, they took us on a ride in the fire engine (that was fun!!), but the time I saw Maria smile the most is when they were leading exercises. Elisa (her aide) took her out of her stroller and had her doing all the exercises with the other kids and Maria was grinning like a monkey! I didn’t get very good pictures, but it was wonderful! That’s why we like her so much!

And as for me, it’s amazing how much more relaxed I am now that Manolis is back. I’m able to concentrate more at work and get more done. Now we just have to wait the 3 months and see if he’s really going to start getting his retirement $$….

Sierra Vista

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

A couple weekends ago, Grandpa and Grandma Ida came to visit and watch Maria for a bit so I could get a wee bit of sleep. The cutest part of the weekend was shortly after they got here, Maria started rolling and army crawling toward Grandpa Dick, then tried to pull herself up on his pants. OMG, it was adorable! She loves her Grandpa!

The 2nd weekend of October Rosanne came to Phoenix, Maria and I picked her up at the airport (after Maria missed school all week because she had a relapse of her strep) and drove 3.5 hrs to a bed and breakfast in Sierra Vista (south of Tucson). We spent the whole weekend bird watching and hanging out. It was great! Rosie came here to celebrate our birthdays–mine’s the 12th and hers is the 14th.

We went to Ramsey Canyon, which is supposed to be such a great birding place. The gift store was nice, but the canyon wasn’t very wheelchair accessible, so it was a big pain in the ass to drag Maria up there. I couldn’t tell if she liked the bumpy ride or not. I don’t know why it irritated me so much that it wasn’t accessible; it’s owned/managed by The Nature Conservancy, so they’re not required to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act. I guess I was annoyed because it wouldn’t be all that tough to smooth out the road a bit, which would allow lots more people to experience the place. Plus we didn’t see squat for birds. I’d give it about a D.

We went to the mining town of Bisbee, which reminds me a lot of Jerome, but smaller. Cute little town; most people were super friendly. We ate at a restaurant where an older gentleman said hi to Maria, then she grabbed his hand and started pulling him toward her. Very cute. A lady that worked there had spent a lot of time in Crete, so we talked about that for a while. Food was good too! I bought a cute tie dye skirt and a loose floppy dress at various little artsy fartsy stores. Some of the places were super expensive (not where I got those items, but some other places). Turns out a couple days after we left I heard a news story that they’d found a pile of human bones. Apparently a place was supposed to be cremating cadavers and they just dumped the bones instead. Creepy!

My favorite place was the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, run by the BLM! The gift store was awesome!! Great books — I got some bird books on sale, a Southwest Slow Cooker cookbook, and a Dr Suess book about birds. Fantastic selection! Plus, since it’s managed by a federal agency, they DO have to follow ADA, so there were lots of accessible trails. We sat under a big tree for a while, then walked down to the river. Rosanne walked farther down the trail to the pond (not so great she said), while Maria and I stayed by the river. I took off her shoes and socks and stood with her in the sand next to the river; she was grinning like a monkey (she LOVES water!). She’d stand for a bit and then move her feet real fast, like she wanted to run to the water, so I’d hold her while she “ran” into the river. We did that several times, then just sat in the sand, while she chilled out and I checked out the birds through my binocs. I saw lots of cool birds, but for some reason the voice in my head that usually tells me what birds I’m looking at was curiously silent, so I didn’t identify any new life birds. 🙁 I’d go back there any day!

The other place I really liked was Ash Canyon Bed & Breakfast. We paid $5 each ($10 total) to go sit in the yard and look at birds (the $ is to help her pay for bird food). We saw lots of birds, as well as squirrels, rabbits, a deer and a fawn, and a flock of turkeys. It was quiet and relaxing and very active (wildlife, not people) with lots of places to sit. Might be a good place to stay next time.

Our B&B was ok, not great. Loved the suite we had–a room for me, one for Rosie, an extra bedroom with a day bed, and a bathroom. Plenty of space, and Rosanne wasn’t disturbed by Maria’s antics during the night since she had her own room. She (Maria) was pretty good, except the last night when she was up most of the night. The breakfasts were the same all 3 mornings–crustless quiche, biscuits, and cut up fruit with walnuts. The coffee was Folgers. They didn’t fill the bird feeders, even though they knew we were bird watching (the hummingbird feeders were full and very busy, but I wanted a bit more diversity than just hummers). We did see some Pyrrhuloxia birds (like cardinals, but not so red), which were about the coolest birds I saw all weekend, but nothing too spectacular. We heard Great Horned Owls right outside the front door the first night; that was cool, but I didn’t see them. The owners were nice and it was a fine place, especially for the price, but next time I think we’ll stay at the other place or maybe in Bisbee.

We drove back, dropped Rosie off at the airport, and went for the 5th time to try and get Maria’s blood drawn — finally we had success!! (checking her seizure med levels — it really took 5 times and 4 places and countless sticks/pokes to get the proper amount of blood. Very aggravating!) Ever since we’ve been home, Maria has slept through the night every night. Most night she yells once, I change her diaper, and she wakes up the next morning. I’m feeling much better since I’m back to my 5-6 hrs/night. And in a couple more days, Daddy will be home and all will be back to normal…