Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WTF Wednesday: If she could see or use her hands she might kill me for this

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. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hello from the land of running in place, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and sucking at life

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! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Things I learned recently at my mom's new nursing home

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. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Time. Marching on. Thank all that is holy.

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.