No real updates...but for some reason, I feel compelled to write. Maybe it is because I don't exactly know what to do with myself, and maybe it is because I suspect so many of you are out there sitting on edge, waiting and wondering, too. It helps, knowing that people out there care.
Today would have been a typical day in the household...if not for the fact we are waiting. Maya actually slept in her crib last night (well, in the car seat in her crib). She woke up around 8:00 am, and I grabbed her to bring her into bed to nurse. Actually, when I walked into her room, my heart stopped for a moment...she was jammed in the bottom of the bundle me, out of her car seat and caught between the car seat and the crib. All of the horror stories about children dying of strangulation in their cribs flashed through my mind, and I raced over to make sure she was okay. There she was, smiling and cooing, and doing just fine. Naturally, my next set of thoughts were ways to kill DH, especially since I'd asked him before he put her in the crib if she was buckled into the seat.
I took Maya back to the bedroom and decided to kill DH later. Mom was sleeping peacefully. I nursed Maya, and heard Micah wake up. I went in to wake DH, yell at him about the car seat (he claims he misunderstood and thought strapping her into the seat was more dangerous), and ask him to help with the kids.
Our morning was fairly run-of-the mill - Micah threw cereal on the floor, Maya dozed on the bed after nursing, and I gave Mom her medications and moved her a bit. I needed to do a few things to get ready for the day, so I asked DH to sit with Maya while I went about my business.
I cleaned a few things, did some organizing, got dressed, answered some calls, and made appointments with the hospice caregivers. My Dad was out running errands while DH napped with Maya. My parents' neighbors came by this morning to bring some turkey soup. We haven't tried it yet, but DH is planning to eat it for lunch tomorrow. Thank you so much for thinking of us and coming by to visit.
The social worker arrived next. She was quite kind and helpful, and she talked about the different family resources hospice provides. My father arrived home during our meeting and joined us. She stayed for about an hour, and then she left. A short while later, the nurse from hospice came to see my mother. This nurse was a bit...cold. She did not talk to Mom at all before touching her, but she did try to provide us with some helpful information. While she was wrapping up, the home health aide arrived to give Mom a bath. She took care of Mom, helped reposition her, and then she left.
We had a quiet afternoon. My friend L came over and brought lunch (bagels, tuna, egg salad) and then we went for a walk. When we returned, everyone was napping! L left, and I tried to take advantage of the quiet...but of course the kids woke up a few minutes later. I played with the kids and tried to get a few things done around the house. I went in to spend time with my mother, too.
In the late afternoon, S and L, S and J, and R and E arrived. We all sat and chatted a bit, and the ladies got to work helping me clean up the kitchen. I have to say, their help was amazing! We can find things in the drawers, the kitchen table is finally cleared off, I have counter space again (although I still hope to clear off a few more things), and my life is feeling a bit more ordered. I truly hate all the chaos in the house, and really just need a few days to put everything in order.
While they were helping, my friend B brought over dinner - spinach salad, split pea soup, and macaroni and cheese. B is a friend from the past...I met her when I was in 9th grade at a youth group convention. I was a member of a failing chapter, and we were thinking of folding the chapter and either joining another one...or just dropping out of the youth group altogether. I sat at her table at lunch (and today, I actually found out it was no accident). I had no idea that she was the Regional President. We just talked...and next thing you know, I'm deciding to become chapter president and rebuild it. That night, at an event called "Lifetime," the senior girls who held office on the council/regional level were honored. They talk about their time in the youth group, tell stories, but most importantly, they give a twig representing their past to someone who got them started, a twig representing their present to the people most influencing their present, and a twig representing their future to someone they believe will go far in the group. B gave me her future that night...and it changed the course of my youth group experience for me. I ran for President of my chapter, rebuilt it into one of the strongest chapters in the council, and then later became the Council Vice President and President. I can directly thank B for inspiring all of that, and it made a huge difference in my life. When I gave Council life 3 years later, I gave my past to B...even though she wasn't there to receive it. Over the years, we've run into each other on and off, but we never really kept in touch through any regular means. She always meant a lot to me...just the mention of her name could bring a smile to my face. I think we all have people like that in our lives...someone that just means something to us. Through Facebook, B and I reconnected. We comment on each others' statuses, we have exchanged notes, and today, B brought food and support to comfort me through a difficult time. B, I cannot even begin to tell you how much that means to me...and how much your friendship has influenced my life. So, thank you. I look forward to getting reacquainted with you.
S, S and E served us dinner at 6:00, and it was a wonderful dinner. By 7:00, they all said their goodbyes and headed out for dinner together. After dinner, my father watched tv downstairs for a bit. Around 8:15, we started the process of putting the kids to sleep. E took care of Micah, and my father helped me bathe Maya. I nursed her to sleep, and then I tried to transfer her into her crib. Naturally, the screaming ensued. I'm getting so frustrated that Maya won't sleep on her own anymore. I'm really hating this phase, and I do not know how to break her of the habit.
Krystal came by as dinner was wrapping up. She just wanted to see Mom. She was so kind - and it was wonderful to see her again. I had hoped Krystal would be here with us for a long time. I know she will be in our lives forever...and I know that Mom wanted us to celebrate Chanukah with her. So, when the time comes, we're going to have a Chanukah celebration with Krystal and her son.
We tried putting her back in the car seat, and we let her cry for over 30 minutes. Finally, DH decided to take her for a ride in the car. He came back around 10:30 with a sleeping baby, and she is currently in the car seat in the crib (properly buckled in this time). I'm hoping she'll sleep until morning. I think my goal is to get her sleeping at a normal time at night and on her own (not in my arms) for the next few days, and then we'll work on getting her to sleep in the crib without the car seat, and THEN we'll work on getting her to sleep while she is awake but drowsy. One battle at a time, right? I think establishing the habit of an earlier bedtime and sleeping alone should be the first priority, however we get her sleeping.
We are now here sitting and watching the news. I'll head back shortly to check on my Mom, and probably reposition her and give her more medications. I lotioned her up earlier this evening (her skin felt so dry, and I know she always feels itchy when her skin is dry). We gave her some Tylenol because she has a fever, I took off her covers so she could cool down, and I changed her pajama top to a sleeveless shirt. I also used the Albolene on her face, swabbed her mouth, and put the special cream on her head for the radiation itching. Her breathing was slow and steady the last time I checked in on her. I also stopped for a brief conversation...I'm not sure if she can hear me, but I wanted to talk to her about my day. I miss her laugh, and I miss our chats, and I'm just missing my Mom. Maybe that is what drove me here tonight to write.
Thank you all for waiting with us.
18 months in review
2 weeks ago