Monday, December 21, 2009

A trip out of town

My kiddos and I went to my SILs house over the weekend. It was a gathering to celebrate her birthday as well as her daughter's college graduation. It was two and a half hours away so I needed to time it just right in order to have a safe stressfree ride there (and back.)

So, I left right after lunch hoping they would take a nap. For the first hour, they didn't so I stopped at a mall along the way to get them even more tired. We also listened to music in the car too. I've been listening to a station lately of current pop music instead of 80s type music. At one point, I noticed my preschooler singing along with a song. It was a song about fireflies, I think, and I didn't even know the words. I have no idea who sings it or what the words are...I find it amazing that he can hear it and remember the words so well.

We enjoyed the gathering and, aside from the long trip back with the toddler unhappy about a third of the time, it went off without a hitch. It was really nice to see other relatives I hadn't seen in a long time. While I don't usually go on these kind of trips without additional support (another adult to help out), it's nice to get out of town and see different scenery.

Friday, December 18, 2009

"I can't find me."

I hate hearing statements like that from my MIL, but they are so true, and there are days that she actually realizes it. Yesterday, after an exhausting cold and rainy afternoon wrangling two kids and taking her to a doctor's office (including a trip to a really small bathroom that her wheelchair barely fit in), she became agitated and eventually depressed. Most of the time, she doesn't seem to know she has such severe memory loss (due to her Alzheimers), but she seemed to definitely know it yesterday. At one point, while crying in the car on the way back to her ALF (assisted living facility), she said she just didn't feel right, "nothing feels right."

And, in that state of mind, she began asking where she lived, whether she had a home, whether she lived with anyone, and that she didn't want to be alone. And, upon entering the ALF, she didn't recognize it and started getting upset (similar to a young child upon being dropped off at the babysitter's house and not wanting to leave it's parent.) She was scared, upset, cold, wet, and tightly clutching the soft brown blanket I had wrapped her up in to stay dry. And then we turned the corner and she saw her door with her name on it (the letters J O that I put on there for her) and then her tears of being scared became tears of joy.

So, I left her. She, feeling so relieved to recognize her things again, hugged me and told me how much she loves me and how she has loved me for many years (and that I was her best friend.) I wish she knew that I was related to her and all the experiences we enjoyed together...but instead, I left her my's replaceable.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the weather and funerals...

I am going to attend a funeral today of a very good acquaintance, no, a friend. Initially, his mom (who was doing the planning) was concerned that it might rain today, hoping that it wouldn't. I have other thoughts... I remember when my mother died and on the day of her funeral, it was bright, sunshiny and beautiful! I was disappointed, thinking that the clouds ought to rain too, to cry as much as I had been crying. And so, on days of funerals, I tend to keep that thought in the back on my mind, hoping for rain. I ought to just change my way of thinking though. The fact that the weather is nice shows that life goes on and passing away is a part of life.

This Christmas, I am attending a Christmas party with mutual friends of my friend who is being buried today. It's a small gathering, but a tradition we had been having for many, many years. I am enclosing a letter in my gift to my other friends, one that describes how much I appreciate them and why. Since it takes me so long to write an actual letter, getting the wording just right, I've been making first drafts already (and won't need to be finished for at least a week.) I want the letters to be just right...I'm better writing what I want to say rather than saying it...and I want my other friends to know I love them very much and what they mean to me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Running in the Rain

I went to the mall a couple days ago with my little kiddos. We saw Santa, rode in the small holiday train, ate cookies at the cookie store, and walked around a little bit. We had a fabulous time (no meltdowns or escape attempts.) On the way out, I noticed that it was starting to sprinkle a little bit. Being cold and windy, that rain made it really cold!! We started walking to the car but just then, it started raining hard. We picked up the pace a little and started running...and laughing. For some reason, it seemed like fun! Luckily, the preschooler had his rubber boots, so when he started intentionally going through all the puddles, I didn't even look. I just turned the stroller around so that the wind and rain wouldn't get on the toddler and we slowly walked in the rain to the car. I've been in a good mood lately and surprise myself with spontaneous laughter at something slightly funny (making it even more funny) or breaking out in song in the car by myself (because I cannot sing!) It's been a good week!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I never read these in the paper or magazines. But I got an email this week with some info. I have to admit, when I matched each to some people I knew, it seemed really close and accurate. Very interesting! Just for fun!!

CAPRICORNThe Go-Getter (Dec 22 - Jan 19)
Patient and wise. Practical and rigid.. Ambitious. Tends to be Good-looking. Humorous and funny. Can be a bit shy and reserved. Often pessimistic. Capricorns tend to act before they think and can be Unfriendly at times. Hold grudges. Like competition. Get what they want. 20 years of good luck if you forward.

AQUARIUS- The Sweetheart (Jan 20 - Feb 18)
Optimistic and honest. Sweet personality... Very independent. Inventive and intelligent. Friendly and loyal. Can seem unemotional. Can be a bit rebellious. Very stubborn, but original and unique. Attractive on the inside and out. Eccentric personality. 11 years of luck if you forward.

PISCES- The Dreamer (Feb 19 - Mar 20)
Generous, kind, and thoughtful. Very creative and imaginative.May become secretive and vague. Sensitive.. Don't like details. Dreamy and unrealistic. Sympathetic and loving. Kind. Unselfish. Good kisser Beautiful.
8 years of good luck if you forward.

ARIES- The Daredevil (Mar 21 - April 19)
Energetic. Adventurous and spontaneous.... Confident and enthusiastic. Fun. Loves a challenge. EXTREMELY impatient. Sometimes selfish. Short fuse. (Easily angered.) Lively, passionate, and sharp wit Outgoing. Lose interest quickly - easily bored. Egotistical. Courageous and assertive. Tends to be physical and athletic. 16 years of good luck if you forward.

TAURUS- The Enduring One (April 20 - May 20)
Charming but aggressive. Can come off as boring, but they are not. Hard workers. Warm-hearted. Strong, has endu rance. Solid beings that are stable and secure in their ways. Not looking for shortcuts. Take pride in their beauty. Patient and reliable. Make great friends and give good advice. Loving and kind. Loves hard-- passionate.. Expresses themselves emotionally. Prone to ferocious temper-tantrums. Determined.. Indulges themselves often. Very generous. 12 years of good Luck if you forward

GEMINI- The Chatterbox (May 21 - June 20)
Smart and witty.. Outgoing, very chatty. Lively, energetic. Adaptablebutneeds to express themselves. Argumentative and outspoken.. Like change. Versatile. Busy, sometimes nervous and tense. Gossips. May seem superficial or inconsistent.. Beautiful physically and mentally. 5 years of bad luck if you do not forward.

CANCER- The Protector (June 21 - July 22)
Moody, emotional. May be shy. Very loving and caring. Pretty/handsome Excellent partners for life. Protective. Inventive and imaginative. Cautious. Touchy-feely kind of person. Needs love from others. Easily hurt, but sympathetic.... 16 years of bad luck if you do not forward.

LEO- The Boss (July 23 - Aug 22)
Very organized. Need order in their lives - like being in control. Like boundaries. Tend to take over everything. Bossy. Like to help Others. Social and outgoing. Extroverted. Generous, warm-hearted. Sensitive. Creative energy. Full of themselves. Loving. Doing the right thing is important to Leos . Attractive.. 13 years of bad luck if you do not forward

VIRGO- The Perfectionist (Aug 23 - Sept 22)
Dominant In relationships. Conservative.. Always wants the last word.. Argumentative. Worries. Very smart. Dislikes noise and chaos. Eager. Hardworking. Loyal.. Beautiful. Easy to talk to. Hard to please. Harsh Practical and very fussy. Often shy. Pessimistic.... 7 years of bad luck if you do not forward.

LIBRA- The Harmonizer (Sept 23 - Oct 22)
Nice to everyone they meet. Can't make up their mind. Have own unique appeal. Creative, energetic, and very social. Hates to be alone. Peaceful, generous. Very loving and beautiful. Flirtatious. Give in too easily. Procrastinators. Very gullible. 9 years of bad luck if you do not forward.

SCORPIO- The Intense One (Oct 23 - Nov 21)
Very energetic. Intelligent. Can be jealous and/or possessive.. Hardworking.. Great kisser. Can become obsessive orsecretive. Holds grudges.. Attractive. Determined. Loves being in long Relationships. Talkative. Romantic. Can be self-centered at times. Passionate and Emotional.. 4 years of bad luck if you do not forward.

SAGITTARIUS- The Happy-Go-Lucky One (Nov 22 - Dec 21)
Good-natured optimist.Doesn't want to grow up ( Peter Pan Syndrome ).Indulges self.Boastful. Likes luxuries and gambling. Social and outgoing.. Doesn't like responsibilities. Often fantasizes. Impatient. Fun to 2 be around. Having lots of friends.. Flirtatious... Doesn't like rules.. Sometimes hypocritical. Dislikes being confined - tight spaces or even tight clothes. Doesn't like being doubted.Beautiful inside and out.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

School Crossing Guard

There is an intersection I pass by regularly which is in a school zone. One guard always stands out...he is so friendly. He will smile big and wave at each car going by. Not the little hand wave but with his whole arm up in the air with his hand waving...

I love going by this way...he seems so happy in his job and spreads cheer and smiles (which can be contagious.) I wish I had this much gusto in the little things I do each day. That is something to think about...

Last Couple of Weeks...

...I've been really busy. Last week, my youngest and his pregnant wife visited us for the whole Thanksgiving week!! It was awesome as I had only met her once (at their wedding) and I enjoyed spending so much time with them. My other brothers came and hung out too and the whole family experience was wonderful!! I love turkey and our feast turned out pretty good! We also celebrated my preschooler's fifth birthday (in which he got a new John Deere bicycle.)

This week, I'm playing catch up.

1. MIL

I'm making sure my MIL (mother-in-law) is fine. She went to the ER again (had cellulitis and needed antibiotics for a wound on her leg.) I visited her yesterday and stayed about an hour and a half. She was in such a great mood!!! She kept saying how much she missed me and mentioning that it had been such a long time since she had seen me. I didn't let her know that I see her every other day practically and let her talk. I just went with the flow but noticed that she really didn't make a lot of sense. She's losing her words. While listening to the flow of conversation, she sounded fine but listening to each word, they didn't connect grammatically she couldn't remember a lot of her thoughts and filled the sentences with 'this and that' or 'you know what I mean.' She asked me where I lived at least 7 times and what I have been doing today at least 10 times. I just that last question with another thing I did:
washed clothes and did dishes
make brownies with pecans
played batman with the preschooler
went to the grocery store
went outside (what a beautiful day!)
gave the toddler a nap
It gave her another thing to think about each time I answered differently. She was aware and remembered that I put all the pictures on her walls (which happened last May) but unaware that I had four children (or who they were.) It's funny what the mind does with this disease. She mentioned how she tries to keep a memory but it just goes away (I knew what she meant but just gently changed the subject to something that would make her laugh.) There were painters (a couple guys) that were redoing walls in the building. She mentioned that fact at least 14 times ( I stared keeping track after a few times.) She said they were so nice....

2. Exercise

I'm returning to the gym (after a week of eating a lot and entertaining houseguests.) Today, I stayed a little longer and, even though my face was red and I was dripping sweat, I did a full hour on a new machine. What a challenge!! I was so proud of myself! If I continue this for many, many months, I may actually get toward a normal healthy weight! Patience and determination are my friends!

3. Christmas shopping

I have the opportunity to finish any shopping without kiddos for just a few more days before my husband goes back to work. Since it goes so much faster and smoother without them there, I need to doublecheck my list for what I haven't yet bought and unload my trunk of those hidden gifts. I just love this season.