Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reflecting


Disney was lovely. (Photo by me, at Animal Kingdom, edited with an iPhone app... PhotoStudio). The vacation was a much needed recharging of my batteries even though while the kids were there I walked and walked and walked and walked. Oy.

Margaritas are great, hanging out with band geeks can be pretty damn fun, and the Disney people pretty much have their act together. Except, all the walking, and not enough benches. I will try to post some photos to my flickr account, but I'm overwhelmed by the number I took right now - because I took so many on the safari and during the fireworks displays.

I am back to the new routine... things aren't going to "get back to normal"; we have entered a new phase where my elderly inlaws will need more and more care until we lose them. I am trying to be selfless and yet still find balance so that I can keep the pace that I set for myself. I know how easily caregivers can 'burnout.' I am keeping track of who will be with my mother in law during the daytimes. (Fortunately we have skilled nursing care at night, so I just need to manage the days.) My children are being wonderful and supportive and stepping up to help after school. I can work from home or her home now that I installed wifi there. Nana doesn't need "care" so much as just some company, so that she is not all alone. We don't want her to fall, but other than that she knows What time it is (Flaaaaave!) and is still pretty darn nice to be around.

I find it hard to explain, but there is a sort of quiet grace that I feel when I step into her home. It's emotionally rewarding to me to take care of someone who has been nothing but a kind, sweet mother in law to me for 20+ years. I like the pace that is set by needing to be patient with her slower steps and movements... I wash her hair, help her dress, feed her, and we watch Bonanza, and even though it's SO. LOUD, I enjoy seeing Michael Landon when he was a 20 something hottie.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Still at Disney

To be continued, but a few comments on disney:

Ow. My feet. And I did wear the best sneakers I have. Ive got blisters on my blisters. We did all four parks and even rode the boat from hollywood to epcot. I love that useful things like the boats and buses are free.

I like the fastpass system but it should be refined so that the best rides dont "sell out" before 2 pm. I didn't get on Soarin which was one ride i really wanted. Maybe limit the number of passes that can be generated each hour???

Disney is loud and full of young children in various stages of tantrum meltdown. Im so glad my kids are grown. When they still are wearing their princess dress and have the princess makeover bun and sparkly tiara it is awesome. The toddlers... Not my kids.

I'm pretty tired and when we stayed for extra magic hours the other night I was more or less delirious trying to fall asleep. Moaning and talking in my half-sleep and waking myself up. My daughter loved it. Not.

We were pretty much in synch so it was great. We both kinda liked Everest, hated space mountain, and loved Aerosmith's rollercoaster. Plus it was fun to just walk around and hang out with her.

(My son did his thing with his friends and I'm fine with that)

Gotta run!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five hours

Since my plane hit ground. But ut has already erased a TON of stress.

An extra play day for mommy on the front and back of this trip was inspired genius, if I do say so myself.

(this is the main pool at coronado springs resort.... It's going to rain, but i have a margarita...)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

There is something to be said...

For going out to the curb myself with that one last bag of garbage instead of making one of the kids do it... This was the sunrise I got as my reward.

Monday, February 13, 2012

and

silly me I though all I had to worry about was whether it would snow this Friday...

I go to the rock

I was never a huge Whitney fan, but I did like her. I downloaded her
greatest hits album last night when I was updating my Alcatraz
podcasts. This morning I was driving to work, heavy hearted and
Whitney singing "I go to the rock" was at least a little bit of
comfort.

Things are not looking good right now. My father in law has an
infection (possibly c-diff which is not fun at all to google). He is
back in the hospital.

I am torn inside. I'm disappointed at the possibility that my vacation
is going down the drain, and feeling guilty and selfish. I wanted my
children to enjoy our Disney trip (our departure was/is/ might be
still scheduled for this Friday- they were supposed to travel down
with all of their band / classmates).

A Disney trip is something I never had as a kid, that I wanted to give
to them, and they have been eagerly counting the days while I have
been secretly struggling to juggle the finances to make it work. If
it weren't for the fact that they are supposed to be performing with
their school band, I would have already told them that Disney will
always be there but we will not go this time, and we will wait to go
when we are not so heavy hearted. But... I have responsibilities to
help chaperon, I'm supposed to have the cert check to pick up the
parkhopper passes, B was supposed to stay in my room, and so on.

My daydream bubble of a contented Friday afternoon (of "me time"
poolside before the bus arrives) has been burst. Even if I do get to
go, I'm not sure how RELAXED I could possibly be. But far more
importantly at any minute my father in law could leave us forever, and
despite him being 85+ we are not really prepared for that, and we are
also busy caring for my mother in law who can't take care of herself.
We have some help, but it's only been a week since this all started so
things are not really properly sorted out.

And, it's supposed to snow Thursday night. Which is just... perfect.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love

When I went to my mother in law's this morning to take my turn, I found that this is what she did with the empty side of the bed while my FIL is in the hospital. :::sniffle:::

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A new beginning


(Photo was found HERE )

Friday night my sister came up from Pittsburgh with The Cutest Baby Ever and just about the time she arrived, my 85 year old father in law fell while running an errand with my brother in law. He broke his hip.

Cue the gasps, the knowing statements of "That's the beginning of the end, you know, when they break a hip." I now hate that mentality. Copious baby kisses over the course of the weekend prevented me from slugging anyone. Man, this can be stressful... getting multiple siblings to make decisions on topics they've never really wanted to dwell on.

We have pieced together who would be at the hospital with him and deal with the surgeons, and who would be with his "girl", my Irish mother in law. She is quite unsteady on her feet, and doesn't have a great deal of strength. I believe I could easily pick her up; and because she is so tiny and thin she is always freezing.

But.

She is still one tough dame, I have to tell you. She doesn't want anyone pushing her around, but she is unfailingly polite and sweet about it. I went to take my turn to help her get ready for bed last night and asked as quietly as possible... have you bathed? do you need to be bathed? The reply came quickly. Firmly. Proudly. "I wash MYSELF, every morning." Thank you very much, beat it Carly, I got this.

This morning I was making her breakfast (and doing a little spoof of a diner waitress, which she didn't quite catch - I have to be louder - or actually funnier. ) She knew exactly what she wanted, on every front. Open the curtains, please. Done. Don't forget those curtains there, on the door. Ooops. Who's the sharp one here?

She had a copper pitcher on the center of the table, and mentioned that it used to be up on the shelf, and that she'd like flowers to arrange in it. I asked her what kind, and she said silk ones, and forsythia please.

I googled them, and found this photo with a reference to the flowers representing a new beginning in life and nature. Love it. It's such a far cry from doom and despair and "guess it's time to say goodbyes" that it's exactly what I needed to help me stay positive. I'll be buying some for her tonight, even though I'm SO TIRED, internets, I really need to sleep, but if Lulu wants flowers she will get flowers.

I'm kind of scared of her scolding me if I forget them.

She has agreed to let us hire an aide to stay with her, so that we don't have to worry about her being alone at night. We will go forward; this is a new beginning.