Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lost and hoping to be found

This is my blog, so I can write what I feel.  Lately, I have been feeling lost. 
When my dad passed away 3 years and 4 months ago I was not prepared to be a caregiver to my mom.  With me being the only child living near her, I was given the responsibility.....AND oh, what a responsibility it is.  Where are all these close friends who say they are here for you, anything you need?
My mom relied on my dad for almost everything in everyday life.  He paid the bills, went to the store, and took care of her needs.  My mom has been sick for a long time.  She suffers with Meniere's Disease and has only 25% hearing in the only ear she can hear out of, and wears a hearing aid.  She suffers with loud noises in that ear at times.  She has a lung issue and is on oxygen 24/7.  She has Gerd and very sensitive stomach, bad knees, hip & back. 
Before all of these issues, when my mom was well, she worked a very hard on the body job at General Mills as a packer.  She worked shift work.  My dad also worked at General Mills.  I remember my mom always looking her best, going to the gym and working out, keeping fit and watching her weight.  She loved going to the tanning beds and laying out in the sun.  She took pride in her appearance.  Her hair was always in place and sported the latest hairstyle.  She was the best cook.  We could always count on her to cook a big Sunday meal and have family over.  She was famous for her "Roast" dinners.  She was the church Christmas tree decorator, having every decoration on the tree in place and she crocheted white bells for each branch.  She was overseer of peanut brittle making at the church, giving of her time and her and my dad also selling hundreds of bags at work to donate to the Ladies Ministries.  I remember a time when she used her Birthday money to buy coats for my kids.  My mom was the most giving person.
She took care of my dad for years after he had a work related accident and developed Epilepsy.  She was by his side every time he would have a seizure.  Growing up, we witnessed a lot of episodes he would have and my mom was always there, being his nurse.  Thankfully my dad's seizures would taper off and with medication they got less and less.  When my mom got sick with the ear problem and had surgery, she had to take an early retirement.  It was then my dads turn to take care of her.  He remained working and finally decided to retire before he really wanted to.  He felt like he needed to be with her as much as possible.  Many times he would want to go to church but didn't want to leave her.  I would go sit with her so he could go.  With the Meniere's disease she would get dizzy and then sick to her stomach.  It wasn't a pleasant sight to see her in that shape.  You feel helpless.  People would ask "how is your mom"?  I got tired of always answering them "she's sick".  I wanted so badly for my mom to be better. 
So, now I am at a point of having to make some tough decisions on my moms behalf.  She recently got out of the hospital and is very weak.  I have been trying to find home care for her and it isn't an easy task.  I stop every morning on my way to work to make her breakfast and usually leave her something easy to grab for lunch.  I rush home after work to start dinner and usually take to her around 6:00 or 6:30.  I call myself "meals on wheels".  She did get approved for care with the VNA "visiting nurses association".  They supply her with nursing a few times per week, bath aid and physical therapy.  I am still trying to find someone to spend nights with her, to free me up.  I miss sleeping in my own bed.  Is that selfish of me?  Is it selfish of me to want my old life back?  I want a normal marriage again.  Thank God Mike is supportive and loves my mom.  He is our handy man around her house.  But, it is getting very tiring taking care of 2 houses.  We did hire a lawn service to free us up from having to mow.  She wants to stay in her home, so assisted living and nursing home is on the back burner for now.  Our hope and goal for now is for her to gain her strength back so she can travel to stay with my sister in Louisiana.  She really does need a change of scenery.  As for now, I will continue to be the daughter/caregiver and take one day at a time.  Thanks for reading and letting me share my feelings.  I don't feel as lost as when I started writing.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Jackson!

How can Jackson be 5 years old already?  Jackson Kent Wilson is a little comedian and has such a tender heart.  He loves to open the long cabinet at my house when he comes over because he knows he will find his favorite snacks, "fishy crackers".  He also loves my corn dogs, that I try to keep stocked up in the freezer.  He told him mommy that it's a "Fair" at Mimi and Grampa's house because I always have corn dogs.  I usually have to pick the corn part off the dog though...doesn't make sense to me, but I do it.  Jack reminds me so much of his daddy at that age.  He is just pure joy to watch and we love him so much.  We will celebrate his Birthday Saturday.  Happy Birthday Jackson!  Mimi & Grampa love you sooooooo much!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Vacation to remember

March 21, Mike and I flew to Oregon to visit Steph, Jeff, Noah, Carter, Gray and Ivy.  We stayed until April 1.  For some reason, I am unable to download my vacation pictures...I took lots! 
It was so nice to just have a relaxing, do what you want to do kind of vacation.  It was great being with our family and walking down to the ocean any time we felt like it.  Jeff and Steph rented a van the first weekend we were there and we drove to the most glorious place I have ever seen, "Crater Lake"...Although I got motion sick from the winding roads, it was worth going to.  We went to Antique stores and just bummed around, which is very relaxing to us.  We celebrated Mike's 60th Birthday while we were there.  We ate the best fish and chips ever.  My brother, Heather and their 3 dogs came to see us for a few days on their way to a Dog show in Albany, Oregon.  We had the best visit.  The kids loved playing with the dogs.  Ivy had an immediate attraction to Heather and they played old maid, go fish, colored and played dress up dolls the whole entire time they were visiting.  They did take a break to eat.  After Heather left, I was the playmate.  Ivy and I must have played 100 games of Old Maid.  She cried before I left saying "who will play Old Maid with me"?  I told her we can Skype and your mommy can be me....and that, we did.
The highlight of our trip was getting to see Carter in his first Play.  "Wagon Wheels a rollin'".  He was the Judge and a mighty good judge he was.  We actually saw the play twice while we were there.  I am so proud of our little actor. 
I enjoyed hanging out with Noah, watching American Idol and saying who our favorites were.
Gray entertained us with his pet gerbils and hamster.  Jeff took us on a tour of his workplace, "The World Newspaper". 
One of the weirdest things that happened was when we were on the beach and Steph stumbled upon a dead cow.  It really freaked us all out.  It just looked like it was napping.  It has washed in from a river into the ocean from a farm. 
All in all, it was one of the best vacations Mike and I were able to take.  Can't wait to go back....sooner than later, we hope!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday Abby!

We celebrated Abby's 7th Birthday at a very special place called "Liberty Zone".  It is in a church with a play area for the kids and a party room.  Abby is a very special young lady.  She loves style and everything matching.  She has a very tender heart and loves Jesus.  She loves to sing and play the piano.  I try to teach her little songs on the piano when she comes over.  She is such a Joy to have around.   Mimi & Grampa love her soooo much!  Happy Birthday Abigail Vera.....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Trip to Oregon Planned

It seems so long ago when I read to my "Four" Geese on this comfy couch.  They are now living over 2200 miles away from where this picture was taken. 
In 16 days Grampa and I will be on a plane headed to Oregon for 12 fun days.  I can't begin to explain how excited I am.  It has been 10 months since I have seen these precious grand kids.  Before they moved, I was their #1 babysitter and made a trip to see them at least once if not twice a week since they were born.  It has taken a lot of getting use to with them not being so close by.  Sure, we have Skype, but it's not the same as being able to give them a hug or kiss on the cheek.  When I see how happy they are, it does make it a lot better. 
I feel like I have so much to do to get ready for the trip.  I tend to over pack any trip I take.  Mike and I haven't had a vacation together in so long, we don't know how to act.  We are just so grateful to our daughter, Steph for booking our trip.  I am longing to walk near the ocean and do some exploring with the family.  I am looking forward to "fresh" fish and chips.  I am looking forward to having coffee and a muffin or bagel with my daughter in the morning at the local coffee shop.  I am looking forward to playing Barbie's with Ivy and of course the board games she loves.  I am looking forward to playing cards with the boys, who taught me their favorite one.  I am looking forward to meeting my grand-gerbils and grand-hamster.  And of course I am looking forward to my "son-in-laws" best hugs. 
I can't wait to go to sleep and wake up with the sound of the Ocean.  I can't wait to look out the window and see the beautiful Ocean and see the stars at night. 
I'm sure I will be in the kitchen making every one's favorite dishes.  It is going to be one big slumber party.  I'm so glad the kids are on Spring break and we can hang out without a schedule. 
I am also excited to be able to see Carter's play he is in.  I want time to stand still while we are there. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy 13th Birthday Noah!

How is it possible that Noah is a Teenager already?  My first born grandson is 13.  I have so many emotions when I think of Noah.  He went through so much as a little tot and smiled all the way through it.  He is the face of an Angel.  He has a contagious smile.  He has a tender heart.  He is a perfect big brother, always helping out his siblings.  I can remember going to babysit at his house before he could walk, just he and I, up in his bedroom, sitting on the floor, playing music and having a good ole time crawling around.  We had and still have a special bond.  I pray for protection over our Noah and these teenage years are easy and special for him. 
Happy Special Birthday Noah!!  And thanks for giving me the best name ever..."Mimi"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm dreaming of Hot Sand between my toes!

We have had our share of snow here in beautiful Northwest Indiana.  I am the first one to say that I love my snow.  I even collect Dept. 56 Snow baby figurines, I love it that much.  But, enough is enough....When you are counting feet instead of inches every day and driving in white outs, it turns from beautiful to dread.  It's sort of a love/hate relationship. 
I watched it snow all day yesterday from my office window at work and figured that leaving at my normal time to go home would probably be safe...boy was I wrong...
I started out driving and about 1 mile down the road was like driving through a white tunnel....It was a Total Whiteout!  I drove with my hazard lights on.  And it did not let up until I got home 30 minutes later and was safe in my garage.  I would have kissed the cement floor but didn't want my lips to freeze to the ground, I was that happy to be home.
I can honestly say that I am looking forward to Summer, but most of all, walking in the hot sand and feel the sand between my toes....Summer can't come fast enough for me. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy 37th Birthday Steph!

It feels a little out of sorts for me today with Steph living over 2200 miles away and not being able to bake her favorite "lemon bars" or pick up her favorite "designer desserts" cupcakes to celebrate her Special Day. 
This picture was taken a few years ago on her Birthday when she requested her favorite lemon bars.  Steph has never been a cake kind of gal. 
I am so happy that she was able to celebrate her Birthday in such a special way this year by taking a road trip to Seattle Washington with Jeff and kids.  She is living her dream, as she slides in to 37.  Living in the most beautiful place and near the ocean really agrees with her.  It makes a mom feel good inside to know that their child is in a place of contentment and peace. 
My wish and hope for her on this Special Day is to continue following her dreams and reach for those magical stars in the Bandon Skies.  I love you daughter, to the ocean and back a zillion times....
Happy Happy Birthday...Mom

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

"Blink" and it's over...
The many hours of back breaking wrapping of the perfect gifts for loved ones took only seconds to be ripped apart and admired and set aside for the next one....
It was a nice Christmas.  Our family tradition is to celebrate on Christmas Eve with a late lunch / early dinner followed by gift opening...of course the kids are anxious to open gifts so not much eating is done by them.  Nate, Elsa, Abby & Jack arrived around 2:30 to start our celebration.  I prepared a very easy meal of Italian beef in the crock pot & homemade mac & cheese.  Elsa brought a potato casserole, veggie tray, cheese dip and lots of desserts...The only cookie baking I did was Mike's favorite, butter crisp (snow ball cookies).  If Steph were going to be home I would have made the famous Lemon bars and 6 layer cookies...So...after eating, we all chose the spot we would open gifts at and Abby & Jack passed out the gifts.  Instead of going one by one to open, they like to open all at once.  Of course everything they opened they said "this is just what I wanted". 
Jack was our paper picker upper and did a great job.  Luckily Abby had a big box that her American girl doll van came in we used as our garbage can. 
Then it was time for Nate & Grampa to help open all of the boxes to get the toys out...what a job.  Knives and scissors were needed and lots of patience.
Abby & Jack had lots of time to play with their new things before we all got ready for the Candlelight service at church.  It was a special time at church sitting on the pew with part of my family and Mike by my side.  It was hard to hold back the tears during the singing of "Silent Night" as all the candles were lit and the church was dark....Such a humbling experience to honor the Birthday of our Saviour.
After service we went home to relax. 
Christmas morning I woke up too early as usual.  Elf on the shelf had left me a Kohl's gift card.  Mike and I agreed not to exchange gifts this year because we considered our new car our gift to one another...but he always has to leave something for me from Santa, but this year it was from Aurora, our elf.  And when I thank him for what was left he always replies that he didn't leave it...OK Mike.
So...Mike and I took breakfast stuff over to my moms early on Christmas morning so I could cook us all a nice breakfast and then we Skyped with Steph, Jeff, Noah, Carter, Gray & Ivy and opened our gifts.  It was like being in the same room.  It was emotional for me and my mom having to say good-bye and sign off.  I sure hope it gets easier in time.
Christmas afternoon Mike and I went to our daughter-in-laws parents for lunch.  The highlight for me was holding a fresh new baby boy, Mason.  We stayed a few hours and then home again to rest up so we could go to Nate & Elsa's later in the evening to eat a Lasagna meal and see what Abby & Jack got from Santa.  It was wall to wall toys in their house.  Abby was organizing her new doll house and Jack was shooting bullets from his Ninja turtles tank. 
On our way home it was snowing the most beautiful magical snow I've ever seen on Christmas night.  We drove down a stretch of road that reminded me of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" where George runs down the street while it snowed.  It was the perfect ending to our Christmas.  When we got home, I Skyped again with Steph and recapped the day.  I think everyone was happy with their gifts.  Another Christmas come and gone....new memories made...maybe next Christmas my whole family will be together...I can dream!

Monday, December 9, 2013

16 days til Christmas

I am guilty of neglecting my Blog...I didn't post anything in November.  Shame on me! 
Is it really December already?  As I am typing, the snow is falling and everything outside looks frozen.  I have never been this organized on December 9th before.  I have 98% of my Christmas shopping done.  I knew I needed to mail gifts to Oregon and that's what made me start so early.  I love ordering on-line and avoiding the crowds at the stores.  Thanks to Steph who gave me their wish list, it made it so easy.  My son also gave me a list of things the grand kids wanted way before Thanksgiving, so I got that out of the way.  He also did shopping for me for my daughter-in-law and himself....which made it very easy.  I just needed to write the check. 
I never thought I would break a tradition, but I put my tree up before Thanksgiving.  I quite liked doing it that way because it freed up my time the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I may do this again next year.  I never get tired of looking at my tree.  I decorated with all my special ornaments and saved the Disney ornaments for the grand kids to hang after Thanksgiving dinner. 
So, I am not feeling overwhelmed, in a rush to finish up and that's a great feeling this time of year. 
I am looking forward to doing fun things before Christmas.  My daughter-in-law invited me to a Christmas Play this Sunday afternoon called Junie B. Jones.  It will be a girls day out.  Her mom, sister, niece, her sisters mother-in-law and my grand-daughter, Abby will all be going.  We will do dinner before.  It will be a special time.  I am also looking forward to an Ugly Sweater Party before Christmas at my cousin's house.  Lots of fun things aheadNo stress!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Random Thoughts on a cloudy Wednesday

1.  I have been getting up around 4 or 5 am to cook...I am meals on wheels for mom...
2.  It was a good feeling to clean out my closet and give 6 bags of clothes to Goodwill....
3.  Gee, I miss my Oregon family...
4.  I'm making a pot of chili for Halloween..Nate & family will eat after trick or treating...
5.  I can't believe I have quite a bit of Christmas shopping done, just sitting at my computer...
6.  I need to re-stock my closet with some winter clothes....
7.  I was a little cheap this year buying Halloween candy...got stuff I didn't care to eat much of...
8.  My co-worker just handed me a bouquet of fresh flowers...I feel special...
9.  I try to keep fresh flowers in my vase on my desk at work...it makes me happy...
10.I like my new Mary Jane black sketchers I got at Kohl's with my 30% off coupon...
11.I wish I could Skype more often with my Oregon family...we must fix that!
12.My hubby is already putting in his requests for Thanksgiving foods...
13.I might treat myself to a new dishwasher for Christmas...
14.I love Fall...
15.I love pimento cheese from the deli, even though it is expensive...
16.I love Snyder's pretzel niblets dipped in ranch dressing with olives on the side....
17.I like my church...
18.I enjoyed Thanksgiving in Ohio last year...lots of fun memories...
19.Looking forward to seeing a good friend from Florida coming to visit next week....
20.I would like to take the day off and go to the Steve Harvey show in Chicago....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy 8th Birthday Grayson!




Happy Birthday to my sweetheart, Grayson Roger Precourt.  I can't believe 8 years have passed so quickly.  I think Gray might have had the best birthday ever, when he was surprised with "2" Gerbils, which he named "Pepper" & "Domino".  Because of his allergies to most animals, he was never allowed to get a dog or cat.  He is such an animal lover and begged and begged for any kind of animal.  We were able to Skype last night on his Birthday and he showed how his Gerbils love their plastic ball.  I loved hearing the laughter from the kids as Domino put on a show on the kitchen floor.  They are not only Grays pets.  Ivy gets to gerbil sit during the day while he is at school.  Steph said she goes and checks on them and they are usually asleep.  It's funny to see how much Joy these little pets have brought to the family. 
Gray will get his box from me and Grampa today for his Birthday.  It was suppose to be delivered on his birthday, but due to a mechanical failure, UPS was delayed 1 day.  I guess that's ok because Gray was entertained with his little friends and will have something to look forward to today after school when the box arrives. 
I was really really missing my little buddy on his Birthday and I'm still trying to get use to my family living so far away.  I am just so thankful for Skype and being able to see and hear the laughter.  This was an extra special Birthday for Gray!  I love this little guy so so so much!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Ivy LaRue

Ivy LaRue is 5 years old.  Where did the time go?  I can remember 5 years ago like it was yesterday.  I will never forget getting that call from Steph that her water broke and the downpour outside on my way to her house 20 minutes away.  I almost needed a boat to get there.  Some roads were closed due to flooding, but I made my way and got there safely.  When I arrived, Steph was so calm and had all kinds of munchies out on the counter in the kitchen.  There was a Peace in the house.  You would have never known a person was in Labor, about to deliver a baby.  I can remember being so proud of how she handled everything and the calmness she had.  It was one of the most magical nights of my life, watching and assisting with the Birth of my 2nd Grand-daughter...Home Births are Awesome!  What an experience!
Here we are 5 years later and it's still fresh in my mind.  I wasn't able to be with her physically on her Birthday, but was able to Skype and have some fun moments with her.  I imagined being there to watch her blow out her 5 candles.  The gift I mailed will be 1 day late and I know she will be so excited to open up the box. 
I posted some favorite pictures throughout the 5 years.  I hope Ivy realizes how special she is and how much she is loved by Mimi and Grampy.  Happy Birthday Miss Ivy.  You are our Queen and we love you to the moon and back and back again a million times. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Perfect Weekend with My Daughter!

I have so much stirring up in my mind about the past weekend.  Steph came to town for Blogher 2013 and divided up her time between Chicago and my moms house.  We were able to spend Thursday eve., part of Friday, most of Saturday and Sunday morning together.  We tried to cover as much as possible.  We took her to her old house and downtown area.  We drove by where the hospital was, where we had our babies...it was so sad to see it torn down.  Steph wanted to run by her in-laws house to pick up something.  She had my Birthday present shipped to their house, in hopes that it would arrive while she was home.  She brought out this huge box and asked me if I wanted to open it now or later...well..of course I wanted to open it now...It was a big beautiful bright orange box and inside was the most beautiful orange/mint green coach purse.  I started bawling.  She always knows how to surprise me.  She didn't know that just a few weeks ago I had gone to a wedding and admired a ladies orange coach purse and really really wanted to own one some day.  I got my wish.  Steph being home for a few days was gift enough for me.  She insisted that we go pick up my Birthday cupcakes from Designer Desserts.  We got our favorites and a new one to try.  We stopped off at a new burger place in Valpo for lunch and had an amazing Gourmet burger and the best butternut squash soup ever.  She said she makes it and it tastes just like it.  After running around, we went back to my moms house to visit and relax.  I dreaded Sunday morning, having to give her one last hug that would have to last until we were together again.  My heart ached, watching her drive away.  Will it ever get easy saying good-bye.  Until next time...I have great memories of our whirlwind weekend and a very Happy early Birthday with my daughter...Stephanie....who I dearly love...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Perfect Sunday with the Grands

I took Abby & Jack home with me from church on Sunday while their mommy worked at the Porter County Fair where they had a booth set up to promote South Haven Christian School, where the kids go and she teaches.  When we got to my house, Jack was so excited because he learned his Bible verse in Sunday School, which was "Don't be afraid, for I am with you always".  So, I told him to tell Grampa his Bible verse, which he did.  We ate lunch then hopped in the pool until it was time to get ready to go check out the Fair and visit their mommy. We were on our way to the Fair and the excitement was felt.  Jack asked how far is the Fair...I told him about 15 minutes and he will see the tall Ferris wheel and know we are almost there.  When we arrived they clapped and I looked for the perfect, close parking spot.  God gave us favor cause I got one right in front of the entrance, about 10 cars down.  We didn't have to pay for our tickets because we got tickets provided.  That in itself is a blessing, since it's not cheap to just walk in the gates.  We first went into the building my daughter-in-law, Elsa was working, to say hi.  Then we proceeded down the hot black asphalt to check out my great niece, Bentley's animals she entered in the Fair.  If it were 5 degrees hotter, it would have been miserable.  We stay hydrated.  We walked into the cat judging and low and behold, Bentley was with her cat being judged.  She got a ribbon for having a lot of knowledge about her breed of cat.  She also entered a ferret, dog, sheep & goats, which she later won some more ribbons. 
The kids were anxious to check out the rides, so we headed towards the Ferris Wheel, where Grampa said he would ride with them.  Mimi does not do rides!  After getting wrist bands to ride on anything for 2 hours, which was the best for the buck, we were in line waiting to get on.  After they got off the Ferris wheel, Mike said Jack was afraid, so Mike told him to say his Bible verse, which Jack did.  And he said he did fine after that.  Good thinkin' Grampa!  So, it was a race to the next ride, one after another.  If they both didn't agree on a ride, we would split up and I would take one and Grampa would take the other...we never got lost or separated.  We had a system going and it worked.  Some rides they stayed on more than once.  Let me tell you, we got our moneys worth!  I took Jack on an airplane ride, which after riding he was afraid, then he told me he said his Bible verse and got back on it again.  He is a character!  I snapped as many pictures as I could.  It was a race to make as many rides before our wrist band would expire...then at 5 minutes past the time, they wanted to ride just one more...so...I took Jack and Mike took Abby on a last one of their favorites...I have pictures to share but they wouldn't load.  Check out my Facebook for pictures.  It was a Great Sunday at the Fair.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy 11th Birthday Carter!

Carter is my Second born Grandson.  He has an amazing personality and such intelligence.  He has taught me so much.  I remember when he was born we couldn't get over his size.  He was so big, he broke his collar bone being born.  He became his Brother Noah's best friend the minute he was born.  Carter has a very tender heart.  He loved and admired his Great "Poppal" and took it very hard when he passed away.  Carter loves sports and gives it his all at everything he does.  He loves to golf with his dad.   I was able to Skype with him and sing Happy Birthday...and that meant so much to me.  He always would request that I make his favorite "Torte" for his birthday cake..and we would put a candle in it.  This year wasn't the same because he lives so far away and I missed not making the famous "Torte".   I will make up for it the next time we visit.  His favorite meal at my house had to include mashed potatoes and gravy...he could really put them away.  I can't believe he turned 11 years old.  I see big things ahead for Carter.  I love this little man so much and I wish him the Happiest of Birthdays.  Happy 11th Birthday Carter Wilson Precourt....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Caregiving

I feel like I need to write to unload my mind.  It has been a whirlwind the past few months with my mom.  I decided to let her Dr. know that she needs physical therapy in-home, since she gets no exercise.  Her movements consist of walking from the lazy boy chair to the bathroom, to the kitchen to the bed, in which she is completely out of breath.  I made her a Dr. appt. for last Friday because she was complaining of another bladder infection.  She almost was not able to go because she was so weak and sick.  I told her it was either try to go or I would call for an ambulance.  She finally got ready and we made it over there.  The doctor scolded her for not finishing her last antibiotics from her last months bladder infection.  Then she told us her chest x-ray revealed she had congestive heart failure and that the infections are taking a toll on her heart.  She sent us home with MORE meds and I had to pick up a breathing machine for her 3 times per day treatments.  I spent the rest of the day running errands to get her set up with things she needed.  The Visiting nurse came to hook up a pulse oxygen machine to monitor her pulse oxygen every morning.  Sunday morning I did a pulse oxygen check and it was low.  That afternoon the visiting nurse calls to tell me that her oxygen level was way too low and she needed to be checked out.  So, we head on over to have her checked out and they ran a bunch of tests and the ER Dr. advised that she needed to be admitted to the hospital.  She was transported to the hospital.  She has been put thru lung and heart tests to see why the oxygen is low.  So far we don't have many answers other than when she is released, she will have oxygen in her home to use.  I have spent my week working during the day and running to the hospital after work.  I run to moms house to check on things and get the mail and keep things running around there, besides my own home.  Is it taking a toll on me?  I am too busy to wonder.  I am thankful she is where she needs to be right now and having the best of care.  When I get her home, I pray she will adjust on her own with the oxygen and everything else.  Thankfully we have Tracee, who comes 2 times per week for a few hours to do whatever we need done.  And we have the visiting nurses and therapists who come to check on mom. I am in the process of signing her up for meals on wheels.  I really don't mind cooking extra and taking her meals, but she would probably eat a more balanced diet if she had the meals on wheels.  There are so many decisions to make being a caregiver.  I do feel like I have a guardian angel watching over me and I'm not doing too too bad at this.  I will continue and wear a smile.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happy Father's Day to my one and only

Celebrating Father's Day has changed for me the past 2 years, since I don't have my dad anymore.  But, it should still be a celebration, in my book.  I don't give my hubby, Mike enough praise this one day out of a year.  He doesn't like to be recognized or noticed, but he deserves to be.  He is a Great Father.  I love watching his relationship with our older children and the grand kids now.  He has a better relationship with our son, Nate, now than when he was growing up.  They have so much in common.  Nate is always calling his dad for advice and even followed in his dad's footsteps with his love of airplane modeling.  They are like two peas in a pod.  And I think that Steph will always be daddy's little girl.  It was such a special year for Mike and Steph, being able to drive cross country together and share in the move to Oregon.  How awesome for a dad to be able to help his daughter and grand kids in this way, even with a newly operated detached retina, without complaining.  These are memories that you can't buy.  Steph played her dad's favorite songs and his favorite groups on the trip and even endured his non tuned singing...I guess she got used to his voice, since he used to rock her to sleep when she was a baby, by singing "Turra lura lura" an Irish lullaby.  He had a singing voice only a daughter could love. 
Mike is also an awesome Grandfather.  I love watching Abby hanging all over him and wanting his full attention.  He taught Jack a song the other day that made him proud....the song from Big Bang Theory, "Soft Kitty"....Each grandchild holds a special place in his heart.  And now on to the dogs.  Mike is a good daddy to Halle & Lilly.  They are his "girls".  I am so glad he finally has lap dogs.  I am also glad that he discovered that these sisters needed to be rescued a few years ago.  They have brought a lot of joy to our empty nest.  So, on this Father's Day, my wish for Mike is to do what makes him happy.  Let me guess....a Sunday newspaper, dogs on his lap while relaxing in the lazy boy chair...and some good ole' Adam 12 and Dragnet episodes playing on the t.v....and must I forget, the heater on by his feet (even if it's 90 degrees outside).  That's Mike...a wonderful Father!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Abby's Kindergarten Graduation




Abby graduated from Kindergarten on May 23 from South Haven Christian School.  It was a delightful night, filled with plays and entertainment from the class.  Abby was a cat in the play "Little Red Hen".  They performed a song to the music "New York, New York".  They each recited their numbers in 2's, 5's and 10's.  My daughter-in-law, Elsa is the teacher and she did an excellent job with presenting a fun night.  I had to hold back the tears when Abby walked down the isle to the graduation march.  I'm thinking, if I'm a mess at just the Kindergarten level, what's it going to be like at the High School level.  They were all precious in their white caps and gowns.  After the ceremony, we all went to the fellowship hall where each child had their own table for their family and friends to gather.  Some were given gifts by their family.  We gave Abby pink roses and a princess necklace.  The decorations were awesome.  A lot of hard work was put into the night.  The classmates posed for pictures with their friends and you could see how they didn't want to part ways.  But I'm sure a lot of them will be back for first grade and pick up with their friendships.  Congrats to Abigail on her special night...and she is now a big First Grader!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Trip to Oregon


May 11, I boarded a plane to start my journey to Bandon, Oregon.  This was a much anticipated trip.  I said Goodbye to Steph, Noah, Carter, Gray & Ivy on January 27.  I will never forget that snowy day, after having lunch at our favorite Sunday hang out.  Steph's last words to me was we will be together soon and soon meaning Mother's Day.  When they drove away, my heart left with them.  May 12th seemed a lifetime away and I wasn't even sure If I could make the trip or not.  Well, I made the trip and I am so so glad I did.  My mom was suppose to go with, but a few days before we were suppose to leave, she fell in her bathroom and was feeling too sore to go.  So, I was all alone.  I heard and saw pictures of the Beauty of Oregon, but to experience it in person was like a dream.  I was in Awe at the Ocean and Mountains.  I arrived on a Saturday and Ivy's dance recital was the next day, on Mother's Day.  How special it was to see her perform with music from the Beatles.  On Mother's Day morning, Jeff cooked us breakfast and then we all loaded up and drove down to the Ocean.  I just couldn't believe that I was surrounded by so much beauty.  I felt so blessed.  We saw star fish of all colors and other sea creatures that I already forgot the names of.  Walking with my daughter on the beach on Mother's Day meant so much to me.  It was a perfect day!  We had time after we got home to relax and get ready for the recital that afternoon.  On Monday, Steph and I went to the store to get things needed for me to cook.  I had asked the kids what they wanted me to cook.  Noah & Carter said beef & noodles.  Gray and Ivy said chicken roll ups.  So, guess what Mimi made?  I decided to make both.  We ate on leftovers for a few days.  But that was the only cooking I did. 
The rest of the week was filled with so much.  I rode with Steph and kids each morning to start the school drop off.  Noah & Carter were first, then Gray, then we had a little time before dropping Ivy off.  We usually drove around to Old town where there were a lot of shops, or down by the ocean.  I enjoyed going in Ivy's pre-school class and watching as she wrote her name to sign in and go pick out what job she was going to help with each day.  She was so excited that I got to see what she does.  The boys schools are in a row on one block.  It makes it easy to drop off and pick up.  Gray had a school concert while I was there and it was so enjoyable.  Gray and Carter also had ball practice and Carter had a ball game.  Steph was like a shuttle, back and forth all day long.  I enjoyed the day that just Steph and I went down to the ocean to walk.  It was such a relaxing time.  I never once thought about what was going on back home in Indiana.  It was like I was in another world.  I have to truly say that it was a much needed vacation.  I felt revived.  We met Jeff for lunch a few times.  I ate the best fish & chips ever.  I am not a seafood eater, but I would eat the fish there every day if I could.   I also tried Sushi for the first time (no fish though), just the veggie sushi.  Jeff gave me a tour of "The World" where he works and we went out to eat fish and chips again.  Steph let the kids miss school on my last day there.  We went to West Coast Safari Game Park.  Gray had been begging to go there since moving to Bandon.  Let me tell you, I had the best time there.  I am an animal lover and you were able to feed and walk with a lot of the animals.  They were loose.  Just the goats, deer, rams, donkey, peacocks, llamas and a few other breeds.  After the game park we headed to Gold Beach, about 45 minutes up the road, for pizza.  It was the best pizza.  The kids got to play arcade games and we had a relaxing time.  Steph asked me if I wanted to keep driving and end up in California, which was another 45 min. up the road.  I had never been to Cali, so we ended up going.  And I am so glad we did.  We found a beach after entering in California.  We got out and walked and played along the beach.  I gathered a few rocks and small pieces of driftwood to bring back home.  As we were leaving I saw water spouts shooting out of the water and it was Whales swimming around.  We stayed a little longer gasping at what we were seeing.  What a great drive, along Hwy. 101 with the Ocean on one side and the mountains on the other side.  As we entered California, The Beach Boys were singing on the radio "I wish they all could be California girls"...perfect song!  We headed back home and was home in plenty of time to hang out and visit before I had to pack.  Steph made the best pasta dish and specialty breads.  I dreaded having to pack and go to bed on my last night.  I forgot to mention that I went to sleep hearing the sound of the ocean and awoke to the sound of the same ocean.  How heavenly is that?  And the bathroom I used had an outside door in it.  As I would get ready I would open up the door and hear the ocean even louder.  I could go on and on about my trip to Bandon, Oregon.  I just feel so blessed to be able to take this trip and to witness for myself why Steph and family are so happy there.  They have a beautiful home.  I can rest a little easier knowing the happiness is for real.  It doesn't make it any easier though in missing them, but I am so thankful for Skyping and staying connected through technology.  I long for the day that I can return and stay longer.