Friday, November 12, 2010


Four years ago today, DH and I were celebrating our wedding. It is hard to fathom all that has happened in the past four years...we have moved three times, traveled to Africa, had two children, and now we are dealing with my mother's cancer. DH has been an amazing support through all of this...with the children, for me, and for my entire family.

It cannot be easy to live in a house with his in-laws...and yet, he did not even hesitate when I suggested we do this. To be honest, I did not really ask him. I just told him what I thought needed to be done, and he simply said "then we'll make it happen." He just knew that I needed to be there for my Mom and our children, and he saw that this was the only way. So, for that, and everything else you do, DH, I thank you.

Today was not a typical anniversary celebration type of day. DH and I had no plans together, and we had already decided not to exchange gifts. Normally, I would have tried to do something special or nice for him...and I just did not have the bandwidth to even think about it this year.

I woke up just before 7 with my mother this morning. I gave her medications, and a bit of granola, and asked if she minded resting in bed for another hour and a half until the kids woke up. She said she could listen to her audiobook, and I headed back to bed to nap for a bit.

Maya woke up around 8, and I took her out of her crib to nurse her. DH went to get Micah out of bed, and around 8:30, I came out of the room with Maya. Betty arrived, and we decided that things were not working out - it just was not a good fit for either of us.

Betty seems to prefer order, and wants the time to do her job completely and thoroughly. She is a highly competent caretaker, and I think she is used to working in a more controlled environment. I think she is a perfectionist - she just wants to do her job right and to the best of her ability, which means doing her job in a certain order, on a certain schedule, in a certain way.

Our house, however, is filled with tumult...we have 2 young children, DH and I work from home and my father is retired, there are always friends and babysitters and other people in and out, and we function at the whim of therapists, classes, babysitters, doctors and clients. Each day is different, our schedule is constantly evolving, and it is certainly always an adventure. I am sure that the chaos will calm down a bit once we settle into more of a routine, but for now, hectic probably does not even begin to describe our world. I think that it must be a difficult situation at best for anyone, and there is a lot of pressure to respond to changes in scheduling and timing quickly, and that often means doing things as well as can be done within the time constraints now and finish it right later.

When Betty left, I contacted Krystal. While we waited for Krystal, I got my mom up into her chair and gave her breakfast. Krystal arrived at 9:30, and got Mom ready for therapy. I have to say, I was so relieved when Krystal walked through the door. I gave her a big hug, my eyes welled up, and I felt my entire body just...relax. I knew we would be okay today, and I knew that Krystal would handle things. It is hard to find someone to trust, and I just trust Krystal to be on top of everything. She seems to understand my priorities, she has a young son herself, and all the chaos and tumult of our home does not phase her at all. Every day, I think how lucky we are that she was assigned to my mother at the nursing home.

My Mom had a visit with the home health nurse this morning (we got her bloodwork back - her platelets and white blood cell count have dropped even further), and then she had an OT appointment at 9:30, followed by a PT appointment at 10:30. In the middle of all of this, our landlady showed up with the plumber to fix a few problems (they were unable to fix the leak from the dishwasher). Then, our organizer arrived at 10:30 - and she finished putting our kitchen in order!! What a relief to have that done. Another old friend also arrived around 10:30 with a wonderful Shabbat dinner for us! It was fantastic to see her again after all of these years. She had a nice visit with Mom.

I spent most of the morning taking care of Micah and Maya and arranging to interview a new caretaker. At 12:00, I left for the day...I was supposed to have lunch with a friend, but I ended up having to cancel. I received a call about a business opportunity, so I went downtown for a meeting. My father came home to watch the kids while DH ran an errand (he picked up a desk for us to use here from a storage unit), and when I left my father was chatting with our friend. Krystal took my mom back to the room for a brief nap, fed her lunch, and got her dressed for the day.

My meeting was fantastic - this was a former client who had a new project and he said he was looking forward to working with me. We will work out the specifics over the next few weeks, but he is completely aware of my home situation and said that he is willing to be flexible and understanding! I'm relieved...I got another email today from a different client looking for a project next month, so maybe I will be able to keep my business alive.

While I was at my meeting, the occupational therapist/vision specialist conducted a home visit. She gave us a list of recommendations, did a bit of therapy with Mom, showed Krystal a few exercises, and made a few recommendations for other things we can do to help Mom. I think it was a successful visit, and we are working on implementing her recommendations this weekend.

One of my mom's childhood friends arrived in the afternoon, too, for a visit with Mom. Her husband and my father took a walk to the store, DH watched the kids, and Mom and and her friend spent the afternoon talking. I arrived home around 4, and Maya had been asleep on Mom's friend for two hours! Mom had just gone back to her room for a nap, and they were getting ready to leave. I was sorry I'd missed the visit.

When I arrived home, I was greeted by the smell of chocolate cake. I realized that DH had taken the time in the midst of the bake us a heart-shaped anniversary cake! I couldn't believe he found the time to do was far more than I even considered. Micah was being cute...he stole my nursing cover and wore it like a toga!

We woke Mom up from her nap around 6:00, and we served the delicious dinner...brisket, couscous, stewed fruit, carrot kugel - it was perfect. We decided to hold off on serving her dessert (a milky way cake) until tomorrow night when my brother, SIL and the girls come to visit. Instead, DH served his cake. Micah was a chocolate fiend! He was covered from head to toe in chocolate (and when DH put a second piece on his plate, he turned his back...and Micah stole it!).

After dinner, Mom watched the kids for a bit and did a few of her exercises. DH and Dad took charge of the kids while I worked on the mountain of dishes. We will be hand-washing this weekend since our dishwasher is not working. What a pain in the neck!! Around 8:00, Mom headed back to her room with Krystal. DH and I then put the kids to bed - he took Micah for a bath and I took Maya. Much to my surprise, Maya went to sleep a little after 9, and has stayed asleep. DH had to go in one time to "plug the hole" (reinsert her paci when she woke up crying). I sure hope this is a new trend!

After we got the kids to sleep, I went in to talk to Mom and Krystal for a bit. I took time to read Mom the blog and your messages. Krystal finished with Mom at 9:30 and headed out for the night. She'll be back again Saturday and Sunday. I am not yet sure what we will be doing on Monday (we have an interview set up with another caretaker), but we've got the next few days covered.

I ended up talking to Mom until 10, and then I gave her pills and set her up for bed. I came out and watched tv with Dad and DH, and must have dozed off on the couch for an hour or two. My Dad woke me at 1:30 to help Mom, and I've been awake ever since. It is now 4:30 am, and I'm hoping to clean a few more things before heading to bed.

I cannot WAIT for tomorrow (Saturday)! Mom and I are having a day of pampering, and she has been talking about it all day today. We have a manicure/pedicure set up for both of us at 11. My brother, SIL and the girls will be coming to visit and staying through dinner, and then we have a massage therapist coming to the house for us in the afternoon. I hope to end my day all relaxed for a change, and I hope Mom is feeling better, too.

No comments: