I have been away for a while, as you can see by the date of my last post. Not for lack of trying, however, I have been one busy woman! We left off with Miss Tori arriving for 10 days from South Carolina which began with Shepherd's Pie what seems like months ago instead of just under a week ago since she has been gone.
I wasn't sure how the visit would go but Tori had a relaxing, fun and amazing visit balancing out her time with her cousins who fought over her and made her feel loved, and Thomas and I. The visit would not have been complete, or the same without the wonderful fun and laughter that Mike Jones brought to the table, enhancing family game nights with his presence and his bright personality.
Thomas stepped up as well, joining in on the Wii bowling tournaments, strobe light fun and himself creating wonderful memories that none of us will soon forget. From jumping on Tori while she was sitting on the couch, sparking eruptions of laughter with his "I forgot to say catch" when we finally recovered, to Mike's suggestion of Popsicle Truth or Dare, where he looked at Thomas and said "Thomas - Truth" which also sparked another wave of laughter throughout explaining that there was an option of either Truth or Dare; needless to say ~ that is as far as the game went!
I sent Tori on her way with a batch of homemade Crab Rangoons since we both love them and I did not want her to be hungry on her way home. Sadley, the leftovers could not be brought on the plane so her Mom could enjoy them as well ~ bad Albany Airport for not letting us transport yummy morsels made with love to my friend!
Fortunately, Tori did not go home empty handed as Mike had made C.D.'s for her and her Mom as well. He did a bang up job and I am proud to call him one of my most awesomest of friends for sure! I am not sure if the 10 days would have been as entertaining as they were without him in the house!
The departure of Tori brought the arrival of Ainsley's birthday. I had been shopping during the week and presents were almost locked down completely. With a sleepover and dinner impromptly planned the evening before, Friday meant a busy day of tying up loose ends to prepare.
I stopped by Persnickety Toys on North Street to pick up the final gift and decided at the last moment that I needed something sweet just in case and went to Madeleines which is a new bakery which opened on North Street.
I hadn't had the opportunity to visit the bakery, and I normally bake, but with so little time I decided to splurge. The splurge was so worth it! They were yummy cupcakes ~ I just wish I had purchased more of them!
Ainsley and I dressed up and attended our Birthday dinner, just the two of us girls, at The Rainbow Restaurant, also in Pittsfield, MA, and a short walk from home. However, we got chauffeured due to pending rain and lightening storms.
Reservations are highly recommended, especially on the weekends for sure. I of course did not make any and we waited a short while for our table. The staff was wonderful and very friendly as we waited. They made Ainsley's Birthday Celebration Dinner extra special with all of the attention.
After our food was served ~ well worth the wait indeed ~ my Homemade Lobster Cake and Filet Mignon were amazing! Ainsley's Homemade Mac and Cheese was so cheesy she really enjoyed spinning the cheese up like spaghetti to get it to her mouth!
My brothers Second Grade Teacher was seated behind us and she came over to speak to Ainsley, who was acting very proper for a newly turned 7 year old. I am very proud of my Monkey girl! She looked and behaved exactly right and I am so proud to be her Gramma!
Turns out that my brother's teacher is friends with Ains's teacher ~ it is a small world indeed. Two day's after dinner Ainsley still remembered her name in order to pass on Greetings to her own teacher when she returned to school on Monday.
After dinner our fun wasn't over yet, Pat and Bruce were coming over after for presents. Jeff picked us up from our dinner, despite the rain not falling yet (it is always nicer to travel by car when one can!) Pat and Bruce were getting burgers for the guys and arrived with 5 shakes for everyone, an unexpected surprise to top the evening off.
Presents were opened and can I just say that some of these toys are so impossible to unpackage. It took three adults and a small child about 30 minutes to liberate the mouse family and all the supplies to the general store, being very careful not to break anything which was very tricky!
Jeff left after presents and Pat and Bruce followed shortly after. I would say it was one successful Birthday event and we still had the "Official" Birthday Party on Sunday! My girl was having a four day celebration and one I am sure she will soon not forget!
You would think Saturday would have been a day of rest, but it was not. We had not had room for cupcakes the night before so I let Ains have hers for pre-breakfast, followed by pancakes at her request and she ate 4 of them!!! Yeah! She finally ate more than a taste! I do so worry about how little she does eat sometimes!
After spending the morning playing and doing art, we were barely ready when "the Parents" came. Ains got dressed while I found a plastic container so she did not lose her small parts to her gift during travel and at home.
One more day of fun for me on Sunday representing the family at Ainsley's Mom's Mom's house. I was looking forward to it. I hadn't seen Lisa's parents since the last birthday party. I really like my son's in laws. I was looking forward to hanging out and chilling with them and catching up.
It was a beautiful day full of warm and sunny weather. Ains and two of her besties were at the swings and the adults were grouped around in the sun or shade depending. The guys were playing horseshoes and I was enjoying the sun and doing absolutely nothing but socializing (which is what I like to do best!)
My daughter in law outdid herself with beautiful desserts (which I would have pictures of if I could have found my camera before I left!) She made these cool desserts which were like flowerpots with gummy worms and cookie crumbs for dirt and these delicious and pretty ladybug candies (special ordered from the internet) and pretty flowers. They were so unique, pretty and delicious!!!
There was also peanut butter cake (which I also love!) but the creative desserts won out with me! I joined the girls by the swings and had dessert with them. My granddaughter has two very nice and smart girl friends. I had a really great time hanging out and getting to know them as well!
Lisa's Mom and I were watching the Horseshoe game when I noticed Ains was opening her presents. We scooted over in time to see her open her final present before she hopped on her new motorized Scooter and zipped across the yard.
That thing really hauled butt, even on the grass. Her crazy uncles and grandpas were encouraging her to get a fast start on the blacktop before she hit the grass ~ it was like a turbo charge kicked in ~ you should have seen her face when that happened ~ a combination of fear and excitement ~ priceless!
In between all of this I have been managing to take care of all of those plants, which are close to going in the ground very soon ~ once my back and neck stop flaring up so I can actually do something. I have been experiencing a sudden and unexpected flare up of pain (is pain ever expected???)
I woke up Monday very early in complete agony and unable to even stand up ~ having to slide my ass out of bed and down the stair to the bathroom and struggle back up to bed for another 5 hours of sleep. I was more wiped out than I realized.
I thought I was a bit better when I hobbled off to my counselor on Monday, leaving a half hour early to be able to stop and rest along the way as needed, which I did five stinking times! I really hate days like those!! After a lengthy talk about utilizing my primary despite the conflict with her nurse ~ I made my way home and was on the phone making an emergency appointment for the following day.
Happily, the Doctor's nurse was replaced in January!!!! All hail the witch is gone...(sorry I couldn't resist)~ I was not the only person that had problems with the woman, confirmed by the new, friendly nurse and the doctor herself.
I am glad. I was beginning to feel like I had to find a new doctor! I am so glad that I don't have to go down that road! The doctor could do nothing for me. She did her osteopathic magic but I still left in agony. Time to phone the neurosurgeon and find a ride to Springfield!
The joys of my life! Some days I am the bear and sometimes I am the stick that pokes the bear, but mostly, I am the woman who loves and appreciates all the little things in life which make the more difficult things more bearable just because!