Sunday, February 28, 2010

In the Blink of an Eye

This weekend went by pretty fast.  Seems like it just started and it was over.  It moved almost as quickly as Lizzie does. The Princess Maren and I got to hang out with her on Saturday night.  She's quick.  I tried to get some shots, but most of them have a slight blur to the edges.  I think I need pointers on how to take pictures of 18 month olds at full throttle.  They just don't stay in one place for very long.

Our oldest niece Madisen turned 15 today and that doesn't quite seem possible either.  I can so clearly remember her as a flower girl at our wedding and how she grabbed Uncle Craig around the neck and sealed the day with a big kiss. Now she's making movies and commercials and getting ready to drive, oh my.  She was adorable.  She still is.  Happy Birthday sweet girl!

I have heard it said many times that the older you get the faster time seems to go.  I never really belived that could be true.  Time seemed to go by quickly enough.  I believe it now.  Soon enough, Sweet Marissa will be in the double digits.

Time itself seems to have taken on a new perspective lately.  As we deal with Dad's illness,  it puts a quirky spin on things.  Past memories are taken out and examined - trying to remember the details and feelings of a time that might be the last. We try to see the joy in the day to day experiences we have right now.   We have decided as a family, that when Dad comes home this next time, he will be on Hospice Care.  We are hoping to give him a few more little moments like these. 

 With fast moving, noisy, silly, goofy grandchildren in all their glory. 

And no more vultures.  Monkeys yes. Vultures no.  Love you Dad!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Things That Made Me Laugh Today

IA Pilot Mom: "What did you have for lunch at school today Maren?"

Princess Maren:  "We had popcorn chicken and mixed-up vegetables."

I will never be able to open a bag of frozen mixed (up) vegetables again without grinning.

Princess Maren has also had horribly dry hands with the below zero weather we have been having again.   They actually start bleeding on the tops of her knuckles.  The only thing that seems to help is rubbing them in with Vaseline at night.  So, being lazy, after a big night of the RED group at church, I asked if she could get the Vaseline out of the hall linen closet and I would rub her hands in. I asked her if she knew what container it was in and she says, " Yeah Mom, you mean the rectangular prism, right?" SAY WHAT? Did you know what a rectangular prism was in Kindergarten? I barely know what a rectangular prism is a few months shy of 40.

My Dad has been in the hospital again since last week Friday.  He had a pretty darn good day today though.  We can tell because he is getting kinda fiesty.  He has a love-hate relationship with the physical therapy team.  He calls them "the vultures" and in the next breath says, "and I'm the dead meat".  So mom went to see him tonight and he reported to her that the vultures were after him all afternoon.  "They stand there at my door and just wait to get me.  They won't even let me take a sh$#!"  Yup, Dad's feeling pretty good. 

Sweet Marissa had ITBS at school last week.  Between testing, as a little stress reliever, their class did some of this:

Just get up and try it! Better yet, try it with your two sweet daughters in the middle of your living room with a wild and crazy shih-poo pup running amok, and see if it doesn't make you laugh today.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In Sickness and In Health

When my Dad was sick this fall, he spent days horribly confused and agitated.  He didn't really know my brothers and I, and the grandkids were all in some sort of muddled combination in his mind.  I remember stopping by to see him in the hospital and Mom was there too, as she usually was.  He was all fidgety and seeing things and sort of a mess.  Mom asked him, "Who am I Bennet?"  He got really quiet, looked right at Mom, smiled, and said, "Well, you're my one and only." Of course she is Dad.  You are so right.

It hasn't been easy watching them travel this road together. Though Dad is home now again, he has been in and out of the hospital some and each time he comes home, he seems a little weaker and needs a little more care. Mom is still trying to work full time, since they have their insurance through her employer.  I think she feels a constant emotional tug of war in the responsiblity as bread winner versus the guilt of not being home with Dad.

 I don't think Mom expected to be so fully entrenched in the role of nurse and caregiver.  She always hated the sight of blood or body fluids in general and this fall she was hanging home IV antibiotics every eight hours, flushing a PICC line using aseptic technique, and doing a darn fine job of it.  I don't think Dad, or any of us, ever fully understood what a sinister opponent Parkinson's disease would be in the final go 'rounds.  He has fought hard and well, whatever the outcome may be.

I don't understand it.  I can't make sense of why they have to go through this.   It really makes me angry and so very sad.  I wish they could traipse off to Hawaii for a week, or maybe just drive to LeMars and get a Bob's dog and a chocolate malt and some onion rings.  I really hope they can do that sometime this Spring. 

Mom will honestly tell you that none of this has been easy. It hasn't.  She will honestly tell you sometimes she gets impatient and loses her cool.  She does.  I think she has told me in those moments of frustration and despair that he isn't the same man she married.  Marriage vows don't really come with that guarantee, do they?  But I do know she would tell you he is still her best friend.  Her one and only. At least the feeling is mutual. 

 Mom, you deserve a medal of some sort.  Pretty sure there is not one big enough or gold enough to do the trick.  I don't understand it all, but I hope I can help you along the way. You're doing great and I love you both very much.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Living the Life?

The Captain has come. And gone.  All within about 30 hours time.  Sigh.  Oh the life of a pilot wife.  Just when I think I am used to the coming and going - I'm not.  Call it the puking. Call it the snow days.  Call it that time of the month. Which it isn't.  But you could call it that. I'm tired though.  I need a break.  I need to wander around aimlessly in a large darpartment store.  Anyhoo.  Gotta keep keeping on.  So the Captain was home long enough to....

...take his wifey out for their Valentine's Day lunch (and she proclaimed the salmon to be good, very good) Thanks, Honey!!

...get thoroughly walluped by his eldest daughter on World 8 in Super Mario Brothers

...have a home cooked meal (does spaghetti count?)

...leave all his stained and stinky leftover take along containers in a pile BY the sink and not IN the dishwasher

...mess up both sides of the bed the paper route with Sweet Marissa while I hung out with my Dad

....get his toes licked by HIS shih-poo mutt who totally disregards and shuns his true caretaker (me) when his Master (The Captain) walks in the door. But I love you anyway Harry. the Princess Maren her bedtime story the Pilot Wife an impromtu and very unexpected (the washer died and the dryer has been dying a slow and painful death also) Valentine's gift of a new (to me) front loading washer and dryer. This will cover a multitude of sins. And stains. Get it. Stains. Washer.  Oh I do need a break. Thanks Honey!!

...remind us to be thankful for a job in this current economy

...snore loudly enough that I need both a break and nap.

Pretty impressive for 30 hours, eh?  We will take what we can get. 30 hours is better than none, right? Sigh. See you Sunday, Honey.  You did good.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

King Harold the Great

I am King Harold. Master of all I see.

And these are my loyal subjects:  The lovely Maid Marissa and the beautiful Princess Maren.  I will uphold and protect them at any cost.

As soon as I get rid of this large booger.

Much better.  I will bark at imaginary neighbors.  I will make large amounts of yellow snow with a relatively small bladder. I will rid the world of useless Barbie fodder by chewing it to miniscule pieces. I will climb the highest snow mountain in a single about 25 bounds before I need to take a break. See?


Humph... almost got it....

Just. One. More. Try.

Whoosh.  Made It.  Like I said. King Harold....

oh look...a squirrel!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Pukey Valentine's Day?

I guess that may as well describe it.  The Captain is gone.  We have about 3 more inches of snow and enough wind to go with that there is no school today.  And Princess Maren did quite convincingly manage to puke her delicate little guts out Saturday.  Poor thing.  She is much better today, so that is a good thing.  How much more vomit could a five year old (or her mother) handle?

I don't mean to sound bitter about the Captain being gone.  Being a pilot's wife for the past 9 years or so, I don't take much stock in celebrating holidays on the actual day that everyone else does.  We have plans for a lunch date at the Blue Mountain on Tuesday and I can already taste my Champagne and Huckleberry Vinaigrette salad (and guess what honey, I am going to have the salmon with it this time - aren't you proud of me?) It really is OK by me.  And considering the puking and the weather, we probably wouldn't have been able to do much this weekend anyway. 

Puking...seems like I have had my share for 2010.  I know, why write about this.  Baloney can do poo, so I am going to do puke.  Being a nurse, I have had my share of experience with it in general.  I really do hate it when the girls get the pukes.  I felt bad because Princess Maren told me her tummy hurt Saturday morning, and I didn't quite believe her.  This is usually her go-to excuse when she doesn't want to clean her room or pick up the basement.  Then she headed to the toilet and let her rip.  Poor thing.  So I did the mommy thing.  Held back her hair so she wouldn't get puke in it, held the cool washcloth to her forehead, and valiantly tried not to puke myself.  I managed to hold it back.

My dad also had the upchucks recently. He was in the ER, waiting for some test results and I swear I could hear it coming up from his toes.  He puked so hard he lost his dentures.  Really.   Lucky we had one of these.

These are great!   No need to have good aim, and everything is nicely contained.   Unfortunately the dentures floated to the bottom and I had to use some creativity and the large ER "hopper"  to retreive them.  These bags have revolutionized the nursing practice.  No more of these little numbers.

Seriously, whatever emesis you would be trying to catch would go down one side and up the other or would inevitably get spilled in all the hubbub of  your patient tossing their cookies.  The only thing these are good for is holding a patients tooth brush, tooth paste and lotion.  The end.

I think I am going to take some of those emesis bags home from work with me.  Marissa went to bed last night saying her tummy hurt.  I took her seriously and laid out a towel and the barf bowl by the side of her bed.  Wasn't taking any chances.

So if you were looking for a sweet lovey dovey Valentine's Day post, ya got the wrong blog. But if you are looking for a practical way to contain vomit - well, here you go.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

NEWS FLASH!! Amelia Earhart Found!

We found her at 10:15 in our local elementary school library on Tuesday the 9th of February, 2010, and just knew it had to be her.  Isn't the resemblance striking? Not that I ever met Amelia Earhart. That was who Sweet Marissa chose to be for their annual 4th Grade Wax Museum. 

Each year, the 4th Graders get to participate in the Wax Museum. It's a big deal.  The 3rd Graders this year are already choosing characters for next year.  The kids have to pick a historical figure, do their research, and then dress the part, and strike an opening pose. When someone pushes their button (see Marissa's right shoulder) they "come to life" and give a short speech about themselves and their life.

It's a great idea, don't you think?  The parents are invited of course, but the younger elementary kids also get to take the tour.  I have never seen so many Kindergartners or 1st graders stand in rapt attention.

Marissa did a great job!  She did her research which also happened to include watching Amy Adams in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.  That was pretty tough to handle.  She hates those kind of movies (cough cough).  Did you know that Amelia Earhart was a nurse too?  Me neither! So mom and dad were both represented.  I felt a little better after learning that. Notice she did not pick Florence Nightengale or Clara Barton.

Now Abby, she was a GREAT Clara Barton.

I have to hand it to Marissa's fourth grade teachers. This year has been ridiculously fun for Marissa. She may even come out of it liking math, thanks to Mr. Lang. They are learning responsibility and organization in a number of creative ways.  Marissa is on the Valentine's Day Party committee and I offered to help by making some treats.  She told me it was "not in the budget".  They have a $20 budget to stick to and that would have put them over.  Good for them. 

Oh, and by the way, we found Elvis too. Just in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What's Not to Love?

Mizz Baloney was sharing the bloggy love last week.  She passed a little my way and have to say it was just in the nick of time.  Last week bordered on the side of chaotic, and my hate list seemed to have grown in direct proportion to the busy-ness.  Just to purge a bit, I hate getting spread too thin, prolonged snow events, dead car batteries, Parkinson's dementia, and paper cuts at the end of your finger that won't heal ( I hear you, Mrs. E!).  There. Feels much better. 

So to properly accept this award, you need to name 10 things you love.

God. Yes, yes, the proper culturally Christian thing to say right?  There are times I doubt It, doubt Him, doubt His love for me, but we have had a sermon series on Hebrews and it has really opened my eyes - and heart -to the incredible love and the highly detailed and intricate plan God has for us to be His. He wins me over every time.

Family.  Another pat answer, but what would I do without them?  The Captain, Sweet Marissa, Princess Maren and yes, even Harold, make my world go round. The Captain is trying to be mad at me here.

Sisters.   No, I don't have a sister.  But my daughters do.  I love it when they get to giggling together or whisper little secrets to each other.  There are four years between the M's and sometimes it does get a bit ugly, but mostly it's a good thing.  And yes, I do have two pesky brothers and I love them too.

Baths.  LOVE THEM.  I try not too.  My pasty winter skin is drier than a popcorn fart, but I love my nightly bath. The hotter the better. Please. And thank you very much.

Belts.  Yup, after nearly 10 long years of not needing them, wanting them, and frankly cursing them.  I have lost enough weight to need, want, and love the belt that came with my new smallest sized pair of jeans.

My iPod.  I am not a big techno geek. Don't crave the latest cell phone, blue tooth technology, or a GPS.  In fact that could be another small thing I love.  I like maps and finding my way with one. Hmmm,that reminds me, did I ever tell you about the Captain and I's flight to Denver and how we landed in Dodge City, KS? A whole 'nother post entirely. But, I do love my iPod.  I love being able to make a new playlist and putting any darn type of music on it in any and no particular order.  And it's the best piece of workout equipment ever invented.

My Parents.  The longer I parent, the more I appreciate my parents.  How did they do it so well?   Seems like they had much more organization, grace and patience than I seem to muster up these days.  They are in a rough spot now.  Chronic disease +  Chronic caregiver = Continual prayer.  I do love them both very much.

This recipe.  Wow. Made this the other night, and I thought I messed up. Then I tasted it and woo hoo doggie, can't wait to make it again.   Num Yummy.

My job.  Not wearing the rose-colored glasses here, because I have my moments of frustration, but generally I love what I do in Cardiac Rehab.  I have met some of the neatest people there and have enjoyed getting to know them.

Painting. No, no, not the artistic type.  The paint the wall home reno type.  There is something oddly therepeutic for me in cutting in at the ceiling and around the door and window jambs and then coloring it all in with a big fat roller.

Alone time.  I don't know if I love it, but I find that I need it.  The Captain has figured this out, too.  He knows he needs my alone time too. I need a little space, a little down time to get my thoughts in order, to have a little talk with Jesus, to regroup.  I have always been a little on the independent side.  Must be the lack of a sister thing. 

So thanks, Baloney.  It's a good thing to remember the love.  After all, LOVE day is right around the corner.  Hear that, Honey?