Amy’s Life in Brief

Getting old just reeks!
August 16, 2009, 9:54 pm
Filed under: birthday, family conflict, family life, grandma, home life, relationships | Tags: , ,

So, I’m back from my trip to visit my grandma. She just turned 96 years old on Friday. She is a very independent woman, always has been. I never bitched too much about my trials as a mother with young children. This is a woman who had her first two children 13 months apart. She lives in a cabin with a dirt floor in a logging camp. She had to get up at 4:30 every morning. Why you ask? So she could get the diapers off the clothes line before the logging trucks came through and they got covered with dust.

Eventually, they moved to “town.” It wouldn’t be what any of us would consider being in town, but after a logging camp, maybe it would. She ran a small dairy while my grandfather worked in the woods. Oh, and she had four small children by this time.

She’s been reasonably healthy up until probably the last year or so. Took very little medication and drove. She still lives on her own…and the reason for this entry.

She is on that razor’s edge of being able to live on her own and needing more assistance. She’s probably, rapidly tipping over towards the side of needing more assistance. She has been having a fairly severe problem with anemia, so much so that she required a blood transfusion last week apparently. She has a-fib, a type of arrhythmia that can cause some problems. She’s also had some congestive heart failure. The biggest thing, in my opinion, that is a huge barrier for her to remain safely in her home is her macular degeneration.

One of my father’s cousins caught her last week almost taking three times her normal dose of Lasix. While having dinner last night, she had to ask what was in each of the dishes. She has fallen out of bed and one night apparently lit a series of matches to find her way to the bathroom. Why she has matches in her house, much less by her bed, none of will ever know. But, it is pretty frightening.

The most difficult part is that she is adamant that she will remain in her home. She is also adamant that she does not need anything close to 24 hour care or even someone to spend the night. She does have a life-line in the home and has for several years. She also doesn’t recognize how high risk she is for a fall.

I suggested a bedside commode for night so that she doesn’t have to try to find the bathroom. Of course, she was horrified. She said, “Well, my bathroom is right over there.” Over there is through her bedroom door and around a slight corner. I said, as gently as I could, “Grandma, you don’t have to walk a long way to have a bad fall.”

There could be a number of different things that could be done to make the bedroom safer. The sad fact, though, is that no matter how safe of a set up we have, the likelihood is that she WILL fall. It doesn’t really feel like a question of if she falls. And there is enough conflict between my dad and his siblings, no matter where it is that she falls, they will all point fingers and say one of two things to each other:
Statement #1-“I told you we should have moved her into an assisted living!”
Statement #2-“What good did it do to move her out of her home! Those people let her fall!”

So, it sucks watching someone get old…and I’m sure it sucks even more being the one who is getting old.


I’m Off…
August 14, 2009, 10:51 pm
Filed under: birthday, family fun, family life | Tags: , ,

I’m off for the weekend! Heading down to see my grandma. It’s her birthday and I’ve been planning this trip for a couple of months. The boys and I will be going. The Husband is staying home. My parents will be coming, as will my sister. I guess it’s a good thing The Husband isn’t coming…he’d have no place to sit!

It’s my grandma’s 96th birthday. I haven’t seen her much in the last couple of years due to The D’s health issues and because I’ve gone back to work. But, her health is starting to fail and she IS 96, so it’s very likely that this could be her last birthday. It’ll be good to see her.

Maybe I will return with interesting tales to tell!

Today’s Post
May 29, 2009, 7:34 pm
Filed under: birthday, blogging, cyber-stalking | Tags:

I was sitting here pondering what my post for today should be about. I was at a loss. I’ve had a couple of “WTF!” moments at work. However, I haven’t figured out how to adequately describe the situations and still maintain an adequate level of confidentiality. But then….the idea hit me!

I will just use this post to wish Reas a very happy birthday! I hope it’s a great one!

The D’s Birthday Party
April 6, 2009, 12:15 am
Filed under: birthday, family fun, family life | Tags: , , ,

We went to the Salem Riverfront Carousel for the D’s 4th birthday. It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day.

First of all, it was perfectly clear and 70 degrees. So, rather than finding a restaurant to have lunch at, we just ran and got sandwiches and had a picnic for lunch. My sister and her family and my sister-in-law and kids all came down and met us there. Of course, the grandparents were there, along with my husband aunt and Granny (the kids’ great-grandma).

The carousel wasn’t too busy, so that was really nice. The kids all got to ride about 4 or 5 times and had a lot of fun. The D isn’t too thrilled with heights, so he preferred the horses that didn’t go up and down or riding in the covered wagons. At the end, though, he did ride a “galloping” horse.

All in all, it was really great day! Happy 4th birthday to the D!

February 21, 2009, 11:24 pm
Filed under: birthday, blogging

I looked back at my old posts…and it looks like my blog will have a birthday soon!  My first post was on March 2nd!  It’s hard to believe I’ve been working at this for a year.  It’s even harder to believe all the changes that have taken place in the last year.  I went from being a stay-at-home mom, to working part-time, to now being the primary breadwinner for our family.  It really kind of blows my mind!

Death and the 5 year old…
July 24, 2008, 3:27 pm
Filed under: birthday, death, fish, mom, worries | Tags: , ,

Orange Fish and White Fish at home

Orange Fish and White Fish at home

So, for the G’s 5th birthday he got a fish tank and two fancy goldfish. The fish have done surprisingly well. We are starting to have problem with “Orange Fish.” (I know “Orange Fish” and “White Fish” aren’t the most original names, but that’s what the G wanted to name them) Anyway, Orange Fish has been having some trouble with his swim bladder. So far, I’ve been able to get him almost back to normal every time by feeding him extra sea weed or worms, but I think he’s getting ready to hit the end of his rope. We’re on a bit of a death watch right now.

So, I’ve explained to the G that I think that Orange Fish is sick and that we may get up one morning or come back some day and he might be dead. He asked why and I explained that Orange Fish seems to be getting a bit sick. He hasn’t had anymore questions, but maybe we’ll have to have a discussion about death soon. I don’t know.

Of course I thought that was going to be the case last spring. One of his classmates couldn’t be at the school picnic because her grandmother had died and the family had to travel to New York to attend the funeral. I explained why she wasn’t going to be there. I sat on pins and needles for a few minutes waiting for a question like, “What is dead?” or something similar. I could see the little wheels turning in his head. Then, he asked, “Mommy? If Grandma Wanda or Grandma Sandy dies, am I going to have to go to New York?” I told him that no he wouldn’t have to go to New York…and laughed inwardly that I had gotten myself all anxious over nothing.

Education and learning styles…
June 16, 2008, 1:30 am
Filed under: birthday, educational setting, mom | Tags: , ,

I took the G to the neighbor boy’s birthday party the other day.  It was an interesting experience for me.  The neighbor boy attends the local Montessori school.  I have no problem with Montessori, per se.  I just don’t think I would mesh well as a parent with that framework and I don’t think that the G would either.  I guess I’m of the opinion that no one educational style is the be-all and end-all for every child.  I kind of go with the flow and if I think something isn’t working for the G (and the D in the future) I communicate with the teacher.  That has always been adequate in getting his needs met.  However, if we find ourselves in a situation where his needs aren’t getting met and I don’t see a way for them to be met in the given situation we will investigate other option.  Anyway, I digress.

The situation at the birthday party was very interesting.  The G was the only child that wasn’t from the Montessori school.  I listened to many of the parents talking and all they seemed to be talking about was why they chose Montessori for their child.  The reason this seemed so fascinating to me is that I would have thought, given that this is the end of the school year, this would have been a subject that they all would have had ample opportunity to discuss at pick-up and drop-off and other events at the school.  But, maybe the nature of Montessori doesn’t allow time for parents to socialize during these times at school?  And maybe because they have sort of “opted out” of the traditional school system they are always bonding with other Montessori parents whenever there is a gathering?  I just found it interesting because I don’t think that I’ve ever had much more than one conversation about our educational choices with my mom friends from preschool and elsewhere.  The main topic of educational choices has been surrounding full- versus half-day kindergarten.

There was one mother that was telling me how she could always tell a non-Montessori child.  I am not sure what she was noticing in the G as far as the difference.  Looking over this group of about 12 children, I saw a very average group of kids.  There were the shy kids, the kids who were kind of bossy, the other kids just doing their own thing, the kids who made quick friends with the new kids, kids who listened to their parents and kids who didn’t.  There were also kids who got tired and threw fits, kids who didn’t get their way and threw fits, and kids who didn’t throw fits at all over the course of the three hours.  So, like I said, I didn’t see any major differences.  This will sound catty of me, I’m sure, but maybe she was reaching for some way of justifying the huge amount of tuition they pay.  I believe the Montessori school in our city charges approximately $4500 a year for a half-day program.

I wonder if the situation would have been the same if it was a group of families from the Waldorf school or the local Christian school?  I’m just wondering.  In my humble opinion, I think most of the differences you see among children has little to do with their educational setting and more to do with their home setting anyway.