Thursday, October 29, 2009


I visited my MIL yesterday at her assisted living facility. She was incredibly glad to see me. She's improved greatly since her fall and broken finger. We talked about her bruises, the rain and then I talked about what I've been doing at home. I can see the unsureness in here eyes because she doesn't relate to my stories but I continue on anyway knowing she needs the attention and conversation.

On the way out, I walk her to the dining room because it was dinner time. Actually, I pushed her on her walker (it has a spot where you can sit down.) She was trying to weasel out of going down there saying her hip hurt but I know she just didn't know that it was so close and that she could walk fine.

As everyone comes in, you can hear parts of conversation here and there. I knew someone had died because of the words out of context like "pneumonia" and "he lived a good long life."

As you walk into the open dining room, there are tables all over and the people usually sit in the same spot every time. The lady who sits behind my MIL is wheelchair bound and you can tell she has had a stroke. She can't use her left hand and her right side of her mouth doesn't move much. She always sits alone at a table for two and puts on a large bib to protect her clothing. She rolled over and asked if I were MILs daughter. I said yes (and said that I was her daughter-in-law.) She said her name was Noo-Noo and that she always tries to get MIL to eat more. She said MIL likes to sit and drink her coffee instead of eating. I laughed as I know she does that all the time too. By this time, MIL wanted to sit at Noo-Noo's table but was politely told no. Noo-Noo said that she saves that other chair for her daughter (who lives an hour away and will come to visit and sit there every other week or so.) I have never seen the daughter so I'm not sure if the timeframe is correct but it is nice that she keeps it unoccupied, just in case.

Then Noo-Noo explained that Mr. Ray had died that morning. He had been in the hospital with pneumonia and had quit eating (they put in a tube etc) and eventually died. She then pointed out where he normally sits and I knew exactly who it was.

He sat with his wife (who he shared a room with at that facility) and pushed her in her wheelchair all the time. We always passed him because their table was on the side of the room where we walk to get to MILs table. He normally would stop and talk to the boys and would hi-five them. I immediately pictured his cap (it had some military patches on it) and it saddened me that we would never get that opportunity to talk to him again. How really sad his wife must now be (as he took care of her there as she'll be alone.)

Noo-Noo said...This is passing-away place. It makes me so sad. (I could see her tearing up.) And then she said, I gotta get out of here. ....I know she won't ever leave, not the way she wants to anyway.

And MIL is oblivious to the conversation taking place or what had happened. Because she tends to get sad and whiny when I leave, I let MIL know that I'd be back the day after tomorrow and that I had a surprise for her. She smiled big! I have a bright purple pair of house shoes for her (she loves that style and purple is her favorite color!)

Monday, October 26, 2009


Rachel from Once Upon a Miracle tagged me. This one looked fun – and I’m tagging anybody who reads this...if you're interested. Just leave a comment and I'll be sure to read yours as well!


A - Age: Early forties

B - Bed size: King (just moved up to that size a couple months ago) With my kiddos coming in throughout the night, I don't know how we survived without one!

C - Chore you hate: Picking up after other people

D - Dog's name: Fatty (our late Australian Shepherd...she died last year...)

E - Essential start-your-day item: cereal, usually raisin bran. I usually check my email when eating breakfast too.


F - Favorite color: Black (a second color I love is green)

G - Gold or Silver: Both (I'm into silver right now though)

H - Height: 5'4"

I - I am: Going camping next week if the weather cooperates

J - Job: Mommy (in my former career, I was a juvenile probation/parole officer)

K - Kids: Four: Ages, 24, 18, 4 and 1


L - Living arrangements: I live in the house I grew up in (I moved back to it about two years ago after letting it be a rental house for a decade or so.)


M - Mom's name: She was Mom.

N - Nicknames: Rob

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: I had my tonsils out when I was 9 and for the births of my children...that's all.

P - Pet Peeve: Someone talking on the cellphone in a restaurant

Q - Quote from a movie: I have so many...the only one that comes to mind, lol!, is "Do NOT go in there!" from Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. We use that phrase to warn anybody at home not to go into the bathroom for a while!

R - Right or left handed: right.

S - Siblings: Three brothers. This is a picture of my youngest brother (from his wedding last year...he just sent the pic a couple weeks ago and I absolutely LOVE my hair in this pic...he looks handsome in it as well!)


T - Time you wake up: Usually 6:30, even on weekends (thank you children...ugh!)

"U- Underwear: Always

V - Vegetable you dislike: Maybe the question should have been, which ones Do I like (it'd be a smaller list.)

W - Ways you run late: I'm a huge procrastinator...but I like to blame the kids for last minute requests and issues as I'm going out the door.

X - X-rays you've had: ankles and sinus area

Y - Yummy food you make: King Ranch Chicken

Z - Zoo favorite: The merry go round ...and the penguins or seals, if it has them.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

MMMmmm! Cupcakes!

Many years ago, my boss brought some cupcakes to work. They were wonderful and I got the recipe from her. I finally made them myself last week and had to actually hide them because we ate SO many at one time!!


Self-filled Cupcakes:

1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
6 oz. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with baking cups. Make cake mix according to package directions. Spoon batter into muffin pans, filling each cup about two-thirds full. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir in the chips. Drop 1 spoonful of cheese mixture into each cupcake. Bake as cake mix package directs.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I hate feeling like this!

It was a stressful day!

I needed to take my MIL to the doctor. I have been seeing her a lot this week.
On Saturday, I spent many hours at the hospital with her after she fell and broke her finger....and again later on for a second time after she removed her half cast and all the gauze/bandages. Two times is too many times to go to the hospital on any day. So...I've been checking on her. She has been really sore and hurt from the fall (which she doesn't remember, of course.)

Of course, she continues to take off the cast on the following days as well.

So, today, I break out her wheelchair and use it instead of having her use her walker (because she'd take a month of Sundays to get from one place to another, and in pain, and I wasn't feeling very patient...I didn't have a lot of time either.) Fortunately, I got my older daughter to watch the toddler so I only had one kid with me during this 'quality time' with MIL. I packed up the dvd player and crayons/activity stuff for the preschooler along with snacks too. I never considered bringing anything to keep the MIL occupied. I should have...she kept asking where we were (her doctor, or mine.) This is the doctor she has loved for many years...and she has forgotten who he was (or where we were, and, when some memories come in, they're confusing to her.) We decide just to tape her two fingers together rather than deal with any cast/bandage issues...the easier, the better.

I need to work on my communication skills with MIL (instead of any memories she can't possibly remember.) We talked about the clouds way too much! I brought a doll to her place a few weeks ago and it has really kept her company (she talks to it and sleeps with it as well.) It's hard to think of stuff to talk about when we're cooped up in a room waiting on the doctor for an hour.

Little things seem to be so much more complicated when dealing with loved ones with Alzheimers. For instance, my MIL gets frustrated with me when I tell her how to get in the car. She feels like I'm talking down to her, I think. But, then thirty seconds later, I observe that she tries to get in on her own and gets stuck with just her head in the car and can't figure out how to get seated. I have to get her head and upper body out to then explain that her bottom has to get in first. Eventually it all works out but somehow, it makes us both feel awkward.

All in all, the whole afternoon seemed stressful and frustrating. So.......I vented my anger to my older daughters afterwards. Feel a little bad about that too. I chastised my oldest for not following through with what she said she'd do at my house (in return to money loaned to her) and not visiting her grandmother. I told her she needed to just come visit me instead of running in for something or staying a few minutes and leaving. I remember my own mom saying something similar when I was young....but I then started spending hours on the weekend with each of our parents (or parents-in-law.) I just want to shake my daughter(s) and say...hurry - visit your grandma now or she'll never remember you again!

But...later on...I calmed down...I caught myself and the little boys singing to a song on the show they were watching. I try not to stay angry or frustrated for long...and I didn't. Tomorrow's another day, another day to improve and start over.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is what I feel like doing a lot of the time...I can't ever decide what to eat! Photobucket

If I had lots of money, I'd hire a personal chef to cook or prepare food for me and my family. I sometimes have good ideas and cook but I'm not a great cook, barely good. I eat out a lot, or I have done it a lot lately. My toddler seems to love soup so we've gone to a couple restaurants over and over because they make really good baked potato soup (and new england clam chowder.) He will eat really well by himself when he eats those. Nevertheless, I tend to eat better when my hubby is home when we plan and eat together. My preschooler eats lunch at his school (even though he goes half a day) so it's just the toddler and I. Food always seems to taste better when someone else cooks it!

I used to love coming home from school and smelling the kitchen right after my mom cooked something (maybe that's why I love the arouma of onions and green peppers together even though I don't like to eat them.) I got got another cookbook so I need to cook more!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fishing for Trout! Yep, we played a lot during the are my boys fishing off of the 'boat' with their fishing poles (sometimes catching fish, sometimes seeing them get away!)

While checking me email (my computer is in the living room), my toddler crawls behind it and peeks through to see me. I then make a game of it and tickle him with the skeleton arm. Of course, my one time tickle turned into a game that lasted forever it seemed, lol!

My hubby was gone three weeks at work instead of two this month and when he got back, my toddler did NOT want to let him out of his sight...they were inseparable!

Monday, October 12, 2009

We had a nice cold front this past week and it rained for days. After a couple days, the boys couldn't stand it and needed to play outside! Since it wasn't thundering or lightening, we let them....and they both had their rainboots on! They had a great time and stayed out for a long time!

Standing in the rain to pose for a picture!

And my toddler licking the raindrops from his mouth. Within a minute after I took this picture, he decided he had had enough and we all went back in.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


My 18 month old toddler, while playing at playground, grabbed the hand of the little girl next to him and they walked around together for a little while holding hands. It was SO cute! I happened to catch a picture of him just after he got her hand. Aaah!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

I love this time of and orange colors! There is a church in our community that sells pumpkins each year and we always go there to pick out a pumpkin for making a jack-o-lantern. My preschooler took his time to find the perfect one.

Starting the search...

Found one...but now want a bigger one...

Still looking...

Finally found one! Sitting on it making sure it's strong...

Taking the pumpkin in a ride...on the way to the car.

Cody (my nephew) also picked one out!

C'mon Halloween!!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

We went to a local petting zoo yesterday. A mommy group planned the outing for this place in the morning (while my preschooler was at school.) My toddler and I checked it out and had a great time. There was a playground there, ponies to ride, a huge sandpile with lots of digging toys, and a petting zoo. It seemed like heaven to little kids!

We planned on returning later with my preschooler after he got out of school and after the toddler napped. We did a few errands and at some point, they were both asleep in the back seat in their car seats. When my preschooler woke up (he had fallen asleep for about 10 minutes), he said, "I took a little nap. That baby music is powerful." LOL! I had forgotten that our CD was playing in the car. We have several CDs with kid songs and music and I had put in a new baby einstein one earlier and it had some lullabies on it.

We did make it back to the petting zoo. When we returned, the animals hadn't eaten in a while and were quite hungry. There were many animals wanting some of the food that is in the tiny cup you get to feed them. What that means is that the animals swarmed us when we entered the area. It was my preschooler's first time there and it was quite scary for him. At some point, I wanted to take a picture of him in there. For a moment, he tried to give me a smile...but made sure he kept his eye on that big scary hungry goat right next to him!


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Last year, I bought my daughter a mini-refrigerator during the August back to school sales and gave it to her for Christmas. She keeps it in her bedroom and lately, it's been empty. It's also a favorite place for my toddler to play...usually opening and closing it over and over. Surprise...he fits inside!