My aging mother is aging out, and on an exit plan now, I am afraid. She won't be with us much longer. I was tucking her in at the nursing home and as she slept I noticed this heart shaped age spot. Like everyone she had good fortune and bad in her 83 years, but I think this is proof positive that her life was marked by love - she was madly in love with my father, and after a few years of painful loneliness when she was widowed with three young children, she had the great good luck to have met my stepfather, who has loved her well for what will be 40 years come July, if that anniversary comes. Not everyone gets one great love, but my mom got two. Love leaves it mark, always and indelibly.
I must have 5 posts in the works, ready to go when I manage to upload photos of videos from the new iPad but someone how the "git 'er done!" phase just never comes to pass. Why is that? Is it the old folks in the nursing home? Is it answering Claire's questions like why doesn't Grandma turn her head (because she stopped doing it and now she can't)? Is it getting too distracted with delight and laughter when Hannah says things like "that is stinky, indeed!" I thought February would bring a modicum of peace and at least a less frenzied pace and I was wrong, on all accounts. My husband thinks I am nuts to put Hannah (and Claire, obviously) in swimming lessons if it means he has to get up on Saturday, no matter how many times I tell him that the use of her hand starts in the strength of her shoulder and getting her to a full stroke in swimming would be huge in PT and OT ways. And I still have to combat the badness of my cute idea as a baby to let her play with receipts from all my shopping because she would crunch them in both hands and stuff them in the bag and tear them and so on - only to find out all that register paper is loaded with BPA. After carefully putting my breastmilk in BPA free bottles she will still get breasts at age 8 because I gave her receipts to use to stimulate her hand. Best OT tip of the week - buy half price Valentines for next year, and to play with this year so you can more half price sets to get the child tearing things apart at the perforations, and hanging window clings. (but don't say crap to me if they were all made from melamine eating child slaves in China)
One last thing to say before bed, besides that I don't know anything about the Oscars because I only saw 5 kids movies all year and Puss in Boots and Harry Potter were snubbed, so I skipped an Oscars party to stay home, read to the girls and bedgthem to wear clothes, and work a pile of files from work . . . are you ready . . . . are you sure . . . .Girl Scout cookies are in on Monday!
In January, all ice is slippy, even in parking lots full of old people who might drive over a woman who is lying on the slippy ice, thinking "I've fallen and I can't get up. This can't be happening to me . . . again . . . and are those stars or cartoon birds circling my head?"
And I would like to note that as far as the sandwich generation goes, I think I am the mayonnaise. Never be a condiment when you could have been a staple, right? Grease is generally the wrong choice, do you agree?
My aging parents are aging out quickly - I have been having regular conversations with my daughters that Grandma may not be around much longer. Worse still, the nightly Claire cuddle and discussion to run down the key points of her day all too often involves me spending too much time explaining things that defy explanation - heaven, death, reincarnation, how the baby Jesus fits in all this, why we need inside voices in the nursing home chapel when it has such lovely acoustics for making echos, and why the "outdoor" baby Jesus has now disappeared from the front entrance to the (Catholic run) nursing home in which we have recently installed my mother. It was actually pretty hard to explain the fake manger alone, since "no room at the Inn" seems so unlikely given the number of Holiday Inn Express locations we pass regularly. The Magi also presented some challenges, showing up at the drop off driveway late, as they did, and with non-matching head coverings.
I don't like holding someone else's teeth. Under any circumstances and regardless of how much it helps a really demanding and nutty old lady . . . I really hate touching the dentures. Fake teeth are somewhat distressing but fake gums . . . that just isn't right right. Mom had just been fairly sweet and my sister and I were feeling somewhat sympathetic when she asked us to glue her dentures back in since someone who had recently done the job had failed to use enough adhesive. I quailed at the thought. Some of my worst teen aged hangovers were those I had when I still slept at my parents house and would use the bathroom they used and have to use their sinks. I will never be able to forget what spilled powdered denture adhesive does in a sink. (Tell your kids - this is yet one more reason to go to college: so one might have the kind of job that provides dental insurance so one can have implants and not be limited to dentures. Yay, me! Yay college! Yay Law School! Yay!!!) Powdered adhesive might come out of the bottle green but it is made to look like the gums it adheres to - so the overspray of green Fasteeth powder would hit the water droplets in the sink and make little globs of pale pink fake gum tissue, glistening in the sink all day long. Possibly all week long unless someone was motivated. Hungover teenagers are not motivated to remove disgusting things from sinks, they just gag and try to move on. Or move out, and in with a boyfriend. I digress, though. My mother now uses adhesive that looks a lot more like toothpaste and that is a distinct improvement since I was not required to handle even a little bit of fake gum tissue. My sister and I shared the odious task.
I am so glad I am not a CNA.
Other Grandmas in the nursing home are jealous of my Mom's grand kids coming in so often, and frequently try to get a handhold of young girl as they run by.
Claire and Hannah are not as afraid of arthritically misshapen hands coming at their heads as I might have expected them to be. I think they know that all these other Grandmas are truly interested in getting up close and personal and so they exploit it by smiling and shouting and then pretending to be shy. When my family members pretend to be shy (or suddenly are) they get a lot closer to me. I am a little tired of just how far up my butt Hannah can stuff her head when it is time to hide. Somehow I still get surprised. But if Lord Honey tries that at the next party we go to I really will strangle him, because I am pretty well done with head up my butt syndrome - this is where I put my head after all, and my butt is not that big. I have been losing weight, people. This is a one head butt. No room at the Inn.
By golly, is that the time? Time to sit down and consume all my remaining outlandishly overpriced and calorically overdense foods before reentry into reality tomorrow morning? Yes, it is time, apparently, since I sat down to blog with a crusty roll (less crusty than a few days ago) the last wad of pâté (I am so hoping Blogger can read pâté as pâté and not pate because, ooooh, ICK!) small slices of dilled Havarti, half a cheese danish and a chocolate caramel nut thingie (name of which escapes me but this goody will NOT escape me). And an eggnog with rum, natch. Sadly, this year I couldn't even keep up with my previously set standards for eggnog consumption because this year I was too busy to drink. Yes, strange but true, we haven't restocked our eggnog from Costco for three weeks, and that is not like us. Over the past few weeks I have countless times found myself failing to urinate when the urge occurred, only to realize that hours have passed before I finally decided I could pull that off. Now you may hate me for this, and I do apologize, but I lost four pounds in December. Before you throw something heavy at my post, do remember I am actually overweight, and fair is fair - someone has to lose pounds in any social circle because the number of pounds compounded between any group of people is a constant, shifting back and forth between the folk according to a fairly complex mathematical statement that if I revealed, you'd have to kill me, so my lips are sealed. Will you feel better when I tell you that not one person set foot in my house over the holiday season? Not one? Not my sister, my niece, my aging parents, my bestie, my other lesser but still beloved friends, not even a neighbor (they left their shit on the doorstep and ran). So I have to eat the food now, before the break ends, because no one else did. I don't think people meant to ignore us, I think I only invited people who were unavailable, or so I like to think. My bestie was in Puerto Rico, my aging parents are too decrepit to climb three stairs to my front door and so prefer we gather as a family at my sister's house, and everyone knows people with kids don't actually have friends.
So what did we do from that point about three weeks ago until now, when I finally did three loads of laundry and put it away in the same 36 hour span rather than allowing it to mound on the window seat amongst the toys and handmade, glitter saturated Christmas decorations (glitter, as you may know, is Satan's dandruff, and remember the Satan / Santa conundrum, then add laundry and I think you'll see what I mean). Well there was the shopping, and the wrapping, and the sickness, and the illness, and the wrapping, and the shopping, and the unwellness which delayed the shopping and the wrapping. Anyway, the aging parents decided to go for broke and check into a nursing home and a hospital simultaneously two days after we had a child with a serious illness which requires the maintaining of a constant normal blood sugar barf her way through the night, Christmas night (bringing our percentage of children who barfed on Christmas to a respectable 50% of the four children in the household). If it were me, and I were three years old, I'd be pretty upset to find vomit in my hair and my naked parents running around rapidly doing laundry and making me bathe in the middle of the night, but she handled it with all the grace a three year old can muster when she hears "good job, honey, you got it in the bucket!!"
We did have fun. We did have lovely gifts, some loud and some not, and some that brought great joy to their new owners. We fully and finally realized just how much work my dear departed dog was doing to keep the floors clean - having now noticed that the rate of increased mopping is causing the kitchen floor tiles to buckle and rise up (the sort of uprising which leads to an all out revolution, eventually. I know other parts of the house are planning insurgencies and I am turning a blind eye to the rebels, like many a colonialist before me).
The de rigueur photo post is coming . . . the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future are coming . . . and possibly so will I when you tell me this whole rigmarole going on repeat is at least nearly one year away.
Observe, the tri-tip roast. Notice the extra sparkles, glinting on the surface of the carefully prepared meat, perfect for a Sunday dinner? No, those sprinkles are not a new take on an old theme (glazing) or I guess maybe they are, but not intentionally. While this roasted at a fairly high heat, per a carefully chosen recipe from the Internet, natch, the Pyrex pan exploded. I wish I hadn't been out shopping, as it purportedly gave out quite an unexpected BOOM when it went, which had followed a few sessions of the smoke alarms going off as the olive oil burned off the roasted root vegetables also being prepared. Sigh. Yes, I am that good. I stayed away long enough to ensure my husband could get the oven cleaned up and order in pizza. Happy Anniversary, Lord Honey! We had actually celebrated with a date night the previous evening, so it wasn't too likely to cause marital devastation, even though we courted each other with me preparing food for him while he worked on my house for free, thus generating a perpetual expectation that I can provide a decent meal every night. Not so, but whatevs.
I don't have my tree. I took last year's Christmas cards off the mantel today. I have yet to complete the long threatened toy purge although I did at least begin. But the middle of that project leaves things in a muddle, rather, as the 17 pieces of 17 toy sets are sorted back into a harmonious grouping of like things alike, leaving roughly 1900 pieces of toys on the floor waiting to be grouped. I have not completed my Christmas shopping, and I have baked nary a treat for my neighbors.
Eggnog, it's time. Come to Mama. Bring Captain Morgan's spiced rum, please.
Perhaps I shouldn't try to pretend that my life is of Dickensian proportions in any aspect, but that phrase just seems to describe the place my head goes quite frequently. I think I might always look back on this as a time when my girls were so delightfully lovely, so amazingly situated between babyhood and childhood, so tasty they are very nearly edible, and yet, I will also look back on this month as a time of cleaning up urine with enough frequency that I think perhaps I was cut out to be a medical assistant, after all. And I always thought I couldn't do that job! Hannah is suddenly much more grown up now, shouting to all who will listen that she's got panties! and yet she is still so very much just a big version of a baby, being still so capable of treacherous body movements that are intended to harm the person who carries her. If she can arch her back like that she does NOT have limited trunk control. It takes skill to do that kind of twist out of a parent's arms while kicking maneuver, I think. I am behind in every single area of my life. Each and every one. It is true that I send out quite a few Christmas cards each year, and I will do so for 2011, but that doesn't mean I have taken the cards received in 2010 off the mantel. No, not kidding. My friend doesn't like that I run late all the time but how I am supposed to know that I need to build time in the schedule for someone to knock her bowl of Ramen noodles (with egg, for extra glue-ability) on the floor right when we needed to get out the door. How? And yet I am doing something right, because the current most common phrases spoken in our house between the two girls are "you my best friend!" replied to with "you my best friend too!" (let's ignore that it often devolves into a fight where each girls insists "NO! You MY best friend!!" emphasizing the my and completely ignoring the fact they are really in agreement but if they acknowledged that then they wouldn't have anything to fight about.)
Things of randomosity:
A dream I probably shouldn't tell you about, but I will . . .
Which had me galloping around a room, thinking I am riding a horse, then realizing I am only slapping my own ass as if I were slapping the ass of the horse I rode in on . . . and then eating my birthday cake without using my hands, possibly in the presence of a man with whom I was about to do the deed. Some of these events have roots in history, but that doesn't mean I can explain how it all came together.
Recently, at my house . . .
My husband spent the dinner hour hogging my laptop again, looking at videos posted to YouTube of seven year old girls operating track hoe / back hoe/ big machine-thingies. I wondered how he got there and he actually started with "truck crashes" and the internet just led him to the seven year olds driving, really.
Current trends . . .
Claire now asks that her YouTube video playlist (previously limited to Tom Petty, Nick Kershaw, Alice Cooper and the Red Hot Chili Peppers) now has expanded to more age appropriate selections such as "Mana Mana" and Claire can always get the "do do do do" just right.
Mother of two, step-mom to two more. Married. Work in the theatre of the absurd, behind the curtain, and pulling the strings. First daughter was a preemie, new Baby has MCADD, or Medium Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (Mighty Crappy Aggravating Disorder) and mild Cerebral Palsy, because the fun never stops around here. Foggy mind. If I wore a button it would say: Lose mind now, Ask me how! Things you might find here: bits and pieces of fluff about babies with wacky disorders, mommying, knitting very slowly, and stuff I don't say at work. You can send me free stuff at Ginger B., 358 South 700 East, Suite B #518, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102 or feel free to email me at gingerbblog at gmail dot com.