What a day! Today was wonderful - I cannot believe how everything just fell into place and worked out as we had hoped! I think we were all nervous and hoping that today went well.
The kids slept until 8:45 - it was so nice that they gave us the extra time to sleep this morning. My mom called around 8:30 to tell me that she was awake and all was well. She had not slept much last night - I think she was nervous about today. We told her that we would be up to get her around 11:00-11:30, and we would bring everything she needed.
DH and I scurried around the house trying to get ready. He got up and showered first, and then we took the kids downstairs for feeding and dressing. DH still had to finish setting up the van - we had to install the two car seats in the back row so that we could all go up together in the van. I had waited until the last minute, and naturally I had to ice the cupcakes this morning before we left. Luckily, I went simple, so it only took me 20 minutes.
We made great time getting up to the nursing home, and we arrived right around 11:30. DH stayed down in the car with the kids while I went upstairs to get my mother. My mother was sleeping when I arrived, so I waited a bit for her to wake up. I brought her an outfit, so Krystal, her aide, helped her get dressed and use the commode. We gathered her medications for the afternoon, got mom situated in her wheelchair, and were ready to head downstairs by 12.
My mother kept asking if we were waiting for transport, and when I told her that we had F's wheelchair van, she started to cheer! She was so excited to be in a "real" car again and not need to wait on transport. We found Micah playing in the front seat of the van and DH holding Maya. We opened the door, rolled mom right in, and locked the wheelchair down. We had invited Krystal to join us, too, so it was a bit of a tight fit for DH in the van. A few minutes later, and we were off to the chinese restaurant (with both children screaming in the back). My mother was cute...she asked me if I had more Tylenol for her, and I got worried and asked why. She said that she was just anticipating the headache the kids' screaming was going to give her!
We arrived exactly at 12:30, and my father, brother, Paige and Peyton were outside to greet us. Things were a bit hectic as we unloaded (we had a lot of stuff and two crying babies), but we easily got mom out and headed inside. Krystal was a huge help to us - she helped us get everything inside and set up.
Everyone was already there! 17 of my mom's closest friends, and 2 surprise guests from out of town. I think my mom was thrilled to see everyone, and she was definitely surprised by her out-of-town guests. We had lots of cards for mom to open, flowers from her friends that we used as a centerpiece, a brand new purple beret from Paris for Mom, and my brother and the girls brought Mom some desserts to keep at the nursing home.
The food started to arrive quickly. We planned it that way because we were not sure how long my mother would want to stay out. She had quite an appetite! Our meal included egg rolls and spring rolls and vegetable dumplings for the appetizer, and then beef and broccoli, chicken with cashews, vegetable lo mein, szechuan string beans, and eggplant for the main course. Dessert, of course, were chocolate cupcakes! I sat across my mom and nursed the baby. My niece, Paige, spent most of the time taking pictures of everyone with my camera.
We had one "emergency" - I was so worried about packing everything for my mom that I overlooked an important point...we had no diapers for Micah! Naturally, he needed a diaper change from the moment we arrived at the restaurant. Normally, we keep spare diapers in our car...but we had the wheelchair van instead of our normal car. Thankfully, one of my mom's friends found an old diaper in her car...it was a size too small, but it did the trick.
All four of the kids were great. Paige and Peyton behaved nicely and were running around playing with everyone's cameras. Paige attached herself to one of our friends for the day, and Peyton attached herself to another. Micah was quite well behaved - he sat next to me eating or chased "P" around (mostly Paige, but he now calls both of the girls "P"). Maya nursed and slept most of the time, but then she hung out on Grampy's lap for a while, and even sat up by herself in a chair for a bit. She has recently discovered her toes, and loves to chew on her feet whenever possible.
Micah is currently at an awkward stage size-wise right now. He is so skinny that the 18 month size is too big in the waist, but he is starting to outgrow that size height-wise. He walks around with his pants falling down all the time (which actually helps the length problem), but because he is constantly yanking up his pants, he is very aware of them. He has developed two new habits - yanking his pants up, and taking them off. We only had one incident of him removing his pants in public today, and I don't think most of the guests noticed! We have to watch him carefully - you just never know when he'll drop trou. (Hey, we have to watch one of my mom's friends, too...we never know when he'll drop trou, either!).
Everyone socialized and had a great time. Everyone was snapping photos and taking videos, and it was truly perfect. Mom did a great job - she was awake, interacting, definitely eating, and able to hang in there for 3 hours despite the fact that she had been awake all night.
At 3:00, she suddenly got antsy and needed to leave. We have to work on her patience! From the minute she said she wanted to leave until we got her out the door and in the car was about 10 minutes, but about 30 seconds after she told me she wanted to leave, she was telling me that I needed to hurry up. I think she forgets that moving 2 babies, an aide, and a person in a wheelchair takes some effort and coordination (not to mention saying goodbye to a room full of 17 Jewish people). The first thing we did was straighten her up and put her arm rest on the wheelchair so she could safely travel. While we were doing that, she was snapping at us about getting ready and going, and I pointed out that putting her armrest on was the first step to going.
Once we got Mom loaded in the car, the ride back was uneventful. We were back at the nursing home by 3:30, and Krystal took Mom up to settle into bed while we followed behind. I read Mom the blog and her messages and took care of a few other odds and ends before heading home. We were back home tonight by 5:00 pm!
It was a quiet evening with the kids. We played, watched some tv, and generally relaxed. Micah has an ID tag of DH's he likes to wear - he puts it on his head, and then he starts playing his "air guitar." He puts one hand up to the side and takes his other hand and strokes up and down on his belly. He gets a huge grin if I say "air guitar" while he is playing. We're working on making guitar noises next. He also started singing again tonight - I love hearing his little voice starting songs now.
Around 6, I put on an episode of Sesame Street for Micah. He was so excited that he grinned, clapped, and started dancing. After Sesame Street, Micah found a baby doll that our friends Amy and Sam had brought him a few weeks ago. He was holding it, kissing it, and taking care of it. He then took the diaper off, and next thing I saw, he had a pair of Maya's socks and he was trying to put socks on the baby (my mother would be so proud!). I helped him with the socks (and shoes, too), and then Micah was finished with the doll. After he was done, I searched the room for the baby doll's diaper. I searched and searched and could not find it. I looked in all the areas where Micah was playing, and then an idea popped into my head...I looked inside the diaper pail, and lo and behold...Micah had thrown the baby's diaper in the diaper pail! We were hysterical. He already does a better job of cleaning than his father!
Maya happily played on the playmat for a bit, and then nursed and snuggled. Mom called at 8:30 pm to say she was still awake and had gotten her pills. I wished her a good night, and she had a chance to talk a bit with Micah before bed. Just before DH took Micah up to bed, I glanced over and noticed that he was sitting with his arm around Maya, she was sitting up, and they were both staring at the tv. I was amazed...she is starting to look less and less like a baby every day. I think in another blink, she is going to be off and moving on her own.
My mom called again at 5:00 am, shortly after I started blogging. She said she did not sleep much (of course, she had been in bed since 4:00 pm) and was getting ready for the day. I think she has not been sleeping as well since she got an aide, so we do need to think about how that is affecting her sleep.
It is days like today when I start to think...or hope...that it will all be okay again. My mother is looking so good that it is hard not to jump there. And then I remember. I want so badly to hold on to this time together. But every time we celebrate an event, I can't help but wonder if it will be the last time we are all together to celebrate. I hope that I am wondering the same thing again next year on my mother's birthday...and the year after that, too. I guess I'm still hoping for that miracle and trying to be thankful for the time we have left together. But if I could freeze time for a while, I think I would.
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