Monday, December 29, 2008
Yesterday was such a bittersweet day. I was looking forward to coming home to see the rest of my family, but hated to leave Shaun, Jenny, Alexander, and my “new” family. I got all teary-eyed saying good-bye to Thomas and Tina yesterday (plus Kim, Cindy, and Wesley) before I even had to say good-bye to Shaun, Jenny, and Alexander.
It was very obvious during my stay how much they love Alexander. Alexander is really going to miss them (and vice versa) but I’m sure that Thomas and Tina will be back in the US as often as possible to visit with them.
I’ve invited them to Wichita for Easter and I hope they’re able to come. We have several birthdays in April, including Jenny, Amy, Shaun, and Isaiah so it would be nice to be able to celebrate them all at once (even though Shaun will be on deployment). Thomas and Tina can take Amy’s bedroom; Jenny and Alexander can take Isaiah’s bedroom. (Amy and Isaiah can take my room.) They’ll have a private bathroom there and if we’re lucky and it’s finished, access to a little kitchenette with a stove top, fridge, sink, and microwave. If Cindy and Wesley come, we can figure something else out for them, even if it’s air mattresses in the family room. Jenny said earlier that when they come they plan on getting a hotel so they don’t put me to any extra trouble, but I want a chance to at least try to be as good of a hostess as Tina was.
I feel so badly for Jenny. I know she’s going to really miss being so close to her family. Shaun leaves on deployment the 19th of January and her family goes back to Taiwan on the 10th for the Chinese New Year. I wish I could afford to make a couple of Friday to Monday trips after Shaun leaves and before Tina is able to come back to stay some with her. I could take the PTO but can’t afford the cost of the tickets to do that. (I do need to watch my PTO usage because I can’t use any more FML until March and I want to be sure to have a week when Shaun returns – and the baby is born.)
Oh well… back to the drawing board.
It's so funny to watch him have a fit. He very gingerly gets down on the floor and then very softly bangs his forehead on the floor. He doesn't want to hurt himself but just show he's displeased with something. He is very strong and when he wants down out of your arms, it's quite difficult to hold onto him.
He loves to go outdoors and have grandpa carry him around the garden (Thomas has a beautiful garden area around the house). Luckily, he's not learned how to open the front door or he'd let himself out. Even if he did, the garden is gated so he couldn't ever get out of the yard.
He is somewhat of a picky eater (go figure on that - after all, Shaun is his dad) but yesterday I fed him broccoli crowns, asparagus, and cantaloupe. He was eating a piece of pineapple between bites (if I wasn't fast enough). He loves these baby rice crackers that Jenny gets from the Chinese market. I tasted one and I don't see how he likes them. LOL, no flavor and no substance. But, he absolutely loves them.
He loves taking his toys and trying to bounce them across the entry floor. Only problem with that is the floor is tile and he could break the toy, or the tile. I would take the toy away from him and tell him no. He'd take the toy and throw it down again. I'd repeat. He'd repeat. So, I took the toy away and tried to re-direct to a different toy. Nope, he wanted to do it HIS way. Down on the floor he went. He also hated that we laughed and thought he was funny.
But, as young as he is, he is easily re-directed to something else (most of the time). He is very smart and only needed to be shown a couple of times how to work something on his new toys and he could do it. He's not quite as coordinated for some so he got a little irritated and impatient, but I think he'll master them in no time.
Man - I'm going to miss the little guy.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Hey there, ya'll!
I got somethin I wanna share with ya. While doin my mornin devotions, I came across somethin that really spoke to me. I had my bible (Amplified Version) and was just readin away, when I came upon Proverbs chapter 15. As we all know, Proverbs is just FULL of really cool stuff that thumps ya on your head and gets your attention. Well, today was no different. So grab your bible and your helmet (protective gear for that thump), and I'll show ya what I learned today. We'll be reading verses 4 and 7.
Proverbs 15: Verse 4 (NIV) "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit." Um.....what's a tree of life? Seriously...think about it. What does it mean? Uh huh.....and when you speak with that tongue, is it life words? Or "death" words? Death....as in, hurtful, hateful, depressing, negative words. Well, sad to say, I'm guilty of a few of those! If you read throughout your bible, we're told to be careful how we use our mouths. We gotta pay attention to the words comin out that mouth. We ain't supposed to pollute others, or ourselves, with negative garbage comin thru our lips.
Did you notice in that verse where it says 'spirit' with a small 's'? You know what that means, right? It's not talkin about the Holy Spirit. It's talkin about our own human spirit. Here's a statement that really hit me: "Depression of the human spirit is another problem created and magnified by wrong thoughts and words---our own or those of others." So, how many times have you heard yourself or someone else speak negative garbage.....and just allowed it? You didn't stop it or nothin! You just let it go. Or how many times have you said stuff and didn't even THINK what was comin out your mouth, until later....then it hit ya. Don't lie, man...I know I've done it. But according to this verse, that crushes the spirit---YOUR spirit. Have you ever seen/met someone who's spirit is totally crushed? It'll make ya sit right down and bawl like a baby, trust me.
And by speakin trash, we're not only crushing our spirits, but also those of others. Now, when ya think about it....what about these young people runnin around spoutin off the garbage that they hear others sayin? Have you actually listened to what they say? It's horrible! And do you think "Where is that kid's mama? If that was my kid I'd....." and so on. Well, do you suppose that teen has a crushed spirit too? In this negative world....I'd bet they do. So, maybe the next time we hear garbage comin out someone's mouth, how about if we see their 'spirit' instead of their negative facades? How about if we instantly, on the spot, say a prayer for them? And if we did that to everyone we see, what kinda impact would that have? (Um...not just on them but on you too) Yeah, cool, huh?
Now, real quick, check out verse 7---"The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools." If you're wise, you spread knowledge. If you're foolish, you speak whatever comes to mind. Which one are you? Most people nowdays don't use wisdom when they speak, do they? All ya gotta do is look at some of our world leaders to know the answer to that question. Do yourself a favor---ask God to help you identify AND correct any negative foolishness in your life and in place of it....help you to use wisdom instead. My mouth has gotten me in so much trouble in the past but the way I see it.....I'm a work in progress. And it's verses like this that slap me back into place. Hope this has helped you as much as it did me. Did you feel that thump? Hurts, don't it? LOL!
Still learnin to serve,
We took the back lot tour first, and I'm glad we did it first. As the day progressed it got colder and colder. I think at one point it was about 55 degrees. I was freezing. Poor Jenny was even colder.
We only rode one other ride and it made Jenny really sick to her stomach. It was the Simpson's ride and I have to say I had a blast. This picture shows how much fun I was having, and how miserable Jenny was. Jenny is next to me, then Cindy and Wesley. Shaun is behind Wesley.
Shaun rode the Jurassic Park ride while Jenny was resting in the first aid station. She was so sick to her stomach that we took her in there to warm up and rest. The lines to the other things of interest were just too long for me to want to stand in, even if Jenny felt good enough to do so. It was so cold.
Tomorrow, if all goes as planned, we're going to Disneyland. I don't know if Jenny will feel up to it or not. I sure hope so as I've still got to get a present for Isaiah. I said I'd bring him something and I didn't find anything today. I should have gotten him the dinosaur from the Toy Story movie the other day, but I thought I'd find something better.
If we don't end up going to Disneyland, I'm sure I can go to some store here and get him something.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I tried to pick up the tab for lunch today but Thomas and Tina would not let me. They said I was their "best" guest and could not possibly pay.
I know it's not nearly enough but I gave Wesley a $20 red envelope gift from Ron and I, and a $20 red envelope gift from Amy and Isaiah. Jenny said her parents would appreciate that gesture since Wesley is a college student and always strapped for cash. He purchased gifts for each of us, so this is the least I could do.
As far as the gifts go, I received an absolutely beautiful piece of wall art with a glass sculpture and Chinese saying (loosely translates to "If you have the love of family, you are wealthy") inscribed on the face of it, a beautiful lavender pashmina shawl/scarf, a Chinese coin purse (from Wesley), a Chinese wallet (from Cindy), slippers (from Wesley), a Beatrix Potter bar of soap and soap dish (also from Wesley), a magnetic "health" bracelet (it's gold-tone and white - very pretty), and I had already received a crystal dolphin from Shaun and Jenny. I know that one of the gifts from Thomas and Tina for Ron is a pashmina scarf, one is a magnetic bracelet, and one is a wall clock. Their generosity is so much that simple words alone could not possibly convey my appreciation.
I felt my gifts to them were woefully inadequate, but I was pleased to see they liked them. Jenny's dad is an avid gardener so he was really impressed with the sunflower plate. They probably need more than 12 place card holders so I think I'll tell Jenny the website where I purchased them.
I am in California with Shaun, Jenny, Alexander, and Jenny's family - Thomas (dad), Tina (mom), Cindy (sister), and Wesley (brother). They are such a wonderful family and have really made me feel very special and very welcome.
When I walked in on Tuesday, Tina immediately put a cup of hot tea in my hands and brought out a plate of grapes. We visited for a little while and went to lunch. Lunch was at a traditional Chinese restaurant, where servers with carts roamed the aisles and if you saw something on the cart, they put it on the table and stamped the ticket. Every thing I said that I had tried before and liked, they also ordered. The table was laden with wonderful dishes - seafood dumplings, beef and broccoli, lemon chicken, rice, and a few things that I don't recall the name of.
Then Thomas and Tina kept Alexander while the "kids" and I went to Disney's California adventure. We met them for dinner at a Japanese restaurant that evening.
Dinner was another amazing experience for me. I ordered shrimp tempura - fried shrimp and vegetables. It came with a cup of soup that although it was good, it was a bit salty for me to be able to eat much of. When my plate arrived, even Shaun said something about how big it was. It wasn't a plate but more like a serving platter. When the server said it was four shrimp, I thought that was OK and I'd be able to manage that with no problem. I did, but it was the rest of the plate I couldn't finish. They all laughed at me. Shaun's plate was even bigger and he couldn't finish either.
Yesterday they kept Alexander again and we went to Bower's Museum. It was an awesome display of culture from around the world and from many different cultures. The American quilt display was beautiful and the China display was very impressive. All of the cultures represented were just amazing.
Last night, we went to May's Garden, which is another Chinese restaurant. We met up with the "POA lady" (Kim, who handles Jenny's father's business affairs in the states when he is in Taiwan), her husband, and her son. Her husband is in metal finishing and his company has done business with Boeing and Cessna in Wichita. Small world...
The food came out in HUGE platters, all eight courses of it. I took just a tablespoon or so of each course and I was so full I thought they were going to have to roll me out. There was lobster "bisque" (which was whole lobsters that had been broken up and then a buttery garlic sauce served over it - yummy), deep fried taro (very sweet, almost like a mashed sweet potato without the color), spring rolls wrapped in seaweed and deep fried, fried rice, a dish with three different types of shrimp (my favorite was done with a sauce that had walnuts), beef dish (no clue what), "salad" (shrimp, lettuce greens, tomato, pineapple, cherries, chicken, and some other ingredients), fish soup, and probably some stuff I'm leaving out.
Today promises to be another wonderful adventure. I know there are Christmas gifts under the tree for everyone in my family and what I brought for them is so small that it's really quite insignificant. I brought Thomas and Tina a baby book that I had created on Snapfish, a 12-piece set of silver plated fortune cookies to be used as place card holders for dinner parties (they entertain a lot), and a little plate that's shaped like a sunflower.
I also bought a thank you card because I want to make sure I show how much I appreciate the hospitality and extra effort they are going to on my behalf. (They went to the store and purchased a new towel and hand towel, toothbrush, and toothpaste for me, then went and bought a special mug for me to use when ever I'm here, and Tina put together an absolutely wonderful photo album of Alexander for me. I have been very touched by their generosity and welcome.)
Merry Christmas to all!
Monday, December 22, 2008
I’m not usually the kind of person who screams easily, and I’m not afraid of mice. But when I’m startled by sudden movement that I’m not expecting, AND it’s a mouse, then screams are bound to happen.
Friday night, I was rearranging things in my closet and suddenly something darted across the floor. I did the normal thing… I screamed. And then I realized it was a mouse so I slammed the closet door shut and went looking for something to trap it with. (My noble husband was eating his dinner in the other room. There could have been a chain saw murderer in there for all he knew since I’m not a screamer. All I got was “are you ok?” Sure, I am… OK – so what if he couldn’t run in to save me. At that point, that was a minor detail.)
I decided that I needed to move the excess stuff off my closet floor in order to have better access for a trap. Plus, I didn’t want the mouse to crawl into the bags I had on the floor (getting ready to wrap Christmas gifts). As I was moving one bag, the mouse darted out from his hiding place. I screamed again. Very loudly, I might add.
I’m really not sure which one of us vacated the closet the quickest. All I knew was that I had to keep him in the bedroom so he didn’t hide somewhere else in the house. I pulled out the bed, both nightstands, the dresser, and the clothes hamper. No mouse. I got a flashlight and looked under things. No mouse. I closed off the heater vents (just in case) and then left the room. I had to go get mouse traps.
I went to Lowe’s and came back with two of the covered traps (to be thrown away) and eight of the sticky glue pads (just in case he brought his family). I could not believe that Lowe’s sold “catch and release” traps. No way… The only mouse I want to release is a dead one into the trash can. I set up the traps according to the directions and went to bed.
Not in my room though. Ron was gifted with my presence in his bedroom Friday night. There wasn’t any way was I going to sleep in a room where I knew a mouse was trapped. When I told him I was sleeping with him, he just laughed.
It worked, though. The trap went off about 7:00 AM on Saturday morning. So, Despereaux is dead.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Last summer (before we knew when and where Shaun was transferring), they wanted all of us to come to CA for Christmas. With Ron's health the way it is and with me using all my PTO, we said we couldn't financially do it. So we wanted them to come here and it was talked about until the transfer was going to happen around Christmas.
Since Jenny's parents will be there, we decided that I could go there. It should be fun. I just hope that I didn't put them in an awkward position by asking if I could come.
I think we're going to Universal Studios and Disneyland, plus any other place we can squeeze in. I'll be there five days (7 counting the travel days).
I'm so looking forward to it...
Whereas he doesn't really go out of his way to surprise anyone for birthday, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, or Christmas, I like to surprise people. I work really hard at listening to what people say they'd like to have and then I set about trying to find something that will fit the bill.
When I went Black Friday shopping in KC, I bought him a really nice gold watch. It's one that runs off of the light and doesn't need a battery. He also won't have to worry about kinetic movement. It's nice.
He won't SHUT UP about wanting a new watch. It's not like he doesn't have a watch because he does. Several of them. He got three watches for Christmas two years ago. And an electric watch winder. He likes watches and he likes to watch shows about watches.
He wants me to take him to the jewelry store so he can buy himself a gold watch. I bought us (with his approval and at his suggestion) a JVC video recorder. It's small and light-weight and the price was right. So, now he implies that since "I" got a video recorder that he should have a new watch. And it's not like he's only mentioned it a time or two - oh, no... he's mentioned it lots of times. I know he's said something several days this week about going to the jewelry store.
He does this ALL THE TIME around the holidays, every year. He spoils it for me. I am about ready to shove the watch package down his throat. Or somewhere else.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Click the button, or visit http://www.onedollargive.com/for more information.
Wow - I am so excited!!! The [name removed] contacting little ole me.
But wait... there are several things that clue me in that your email is fraudulent and just trying to get my ID so YOU can commit fraud...
1. An email address @ymail.com - give me a freakin break. Do you really expect anyone with even a little bit of intelligence to fall for an email address that's not even remotely business?
2. Addressing me as "Sir" - another clue that you have no idea who you are sending this message to.
3. Spelling errors - have you never heard of "spell-check"? Oh... but you'd have to have English as your normal language (last time I checked, English was the language of Great Britain - true?). Cussion, diffiuculteis, and openned are all misspelled.
4. Poor grammar and punctuation - yet another LOUD indicator that You don't know how to Capitalize or punctuate , proper English language.
5. Send reply to email@example.com - puh-leeze - what kind of moron would think that a BANK would have a ROCKETMAIL email address? Do you think that legitimate businesses would use something other than their own domain email address? Too funny.
6. Official "sounding" acronyms and abbreviations - wow - AU and NFIU *really* makes me certain that your email is official and above-board. Right...
So, now that I've let you know that I have no desire to fall victim to your scheme, please take your efforts elsewhere. Better yet - why not try to get a REAL job and leave folks who are trying to make an HONEST living alone?
Metro Plaza, Plot 991/992 Dangote House
Aguyi Ironsi Street
Maitama District, Abuja.
The [name removed] in Nigeria received a report of scam against you and other Asian, Australian, European, South American and US citizens by citizens of either Nigeria, Benin Republic, Ghana , Bokinafaso, Equatorial Guinea and the entire West African states (AU). The Government of the West African Countries have recompensed you following the meeting held with the Government of the various countries' high commission for the fraudulent activities carried out by the her Citizens on your person. This is to cussion the effect of the present economic diffiuculteis on you.
Your data confirms that you were among those defrauded as listed by the Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) through email scams. A compensation has been set aside to all the affected victims.Be informed that a total of two Million four hundred and fifty thousand US dollars ($2,450,000.00) was allocated to you by the heads of states of the African Union as you were indicated as one of the fraud victims.
Your current phone number/contact address should be made available to this office in acknowledgement to the receipt of this mail to effect the processing and release of your fund by the nominated bank in UK through our email address ([name removed]@ymail.com)
You can as well contact the bank directly with their information as follows.
PLC1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP.
Phone: +44 703 591 4563
Contact: Mr. Fred Brain.
Further communication between you and anyone claiming to be holding your fund (fraudsters) should be discontinued as such will result to a total cancellation of the release of the stated fund to you.
You are requested to acknowledge the receipt of this mail for proper update of the files openned for you in this regard.
Monday, December 1, 2008
The best sale price they have ever had on this ring is 30% off. So, I decided that I’d bite the bullet and get it.
I’m taking it back today. I batted it around all weekend (after I bought it). First I decided that I’d wrap it and put it under the tree, then I decided that I’d take it back, and then I flip-flopped again. We’re trying to get our bills paid off, so taking the money I would spend on the ring and putting it somewhere else is really a better idea.
I could tell Ron wasn’t really thrilled that I bought it, especially since I’ve been telling him that we’re cutting back. I don’t want to have something that I’ll feel guilty for having (even if he’s not trying to make me feel guilty). He didn't say too much until I showed him what I'd bought for gifts and then I could tell he was concerned.
He said he thought we weren't spending much money for Christmas and I assured him that I had not. I think I'm spending about 50% less this year than last year - and probably the same from the year before that.
His final word on the subject was "I'm going to buy myself a gold watch." That will be just lovely. I wonder if he'd rather have the one I bought or the one he'll buy himself. LOL - I don't care.
I thoroughly enjoy giving gifts to family and friends. I like being creative and putting a lot of thought into the things I buy or make. I don’t usually expect gifts because Ron’s not been consistent with buying gifts (my kids always get me something but this year I even told them to not and to only buy for Isaiah and Alexander). His thought is that if I want something or need something, I can buy it or we can go shopping together. He’s right but there are times when I want him to totally think of me on his own and then work to provide it. Sometimes he does and sometimes he does not.
I am totally thankful for the times that he does and try to mentally be ready for the times he does not. If I plan for nothing, and get something, then I’m doubly pleased. But, if I plan for something and get nothing, then I’m upset. I’d rather plan for nothing so when I get nothing I am not blindsided.
I’ve never neglected to buy him something for Christmas. Even the years when finances were tight I managed to put together something for him, although it may have been a couple of things he needed (such as shirts or work pants). The gift/no gift years are so hit-miss with Ron that I can’t really say how many years I’ve gotten or not gotten a gift that I didn’t pick out – and sometimes even pick up. Even years that he could not have gotten me a gift he could have at least gotten a card - but he did not. Said he just didn't think of it.
We decided that we mostly didn’t have the money for gifts for each other this year. I still got him a watch that has an Eco-drive movement (he doesn’t need one, but he wanted one that he doesn’t have to replace the battery or shake his arm to keep going). I also bought him the complete first season of CSI and a set of 800 threadcount sheets. I gave him the sheets already because his skin has been hurting so much (I thought that would help).
The sheets were a really good deal ($169.99 regular price, on sale for $59.99) so I bought a set for the other bed, too. Ron said I could have gotten cheaper sheets at Wal-Mart. He’s right – but not 800 threadcount. 600 threadcount is the closest in price and they are over $50. So, I decided to give the queen set to my mom for Christmas since she’s got the same sensitive skin issues Ron has. He can't complain about that one - and he wouldn't. He knows how much pain my mom is in.
This year I absolutely don't expect anything from him. He's been in that wheelchair for almost a year, doesn't have a vehicle to drive (even if he did he couldn't get out to drive it), and because he isn't working he doesn't have ready access to money. I'm fine with that.
For real and for sure.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
A friend of mine wrote on her blog regarding this very issue (she must have dealt with some of the same people I did - and our paths didn't even cross) so I decided the next time I'm notified of my forgetfulness (or otherwise nearly illegal activity) I would also share my information. After all, you never know who else is forgetting to claim their millions in USD! Just trying to be helpful...
I am sure that Dr. Ephraim James (who, incidentally, has a yahoo.cn email address - must be because he's working under cover and doesn't wish correspondence to his employer email to be tracked) will do his utmost to ensure the safe delivery of my funds. I only need to re-confirm my legal name, contact address, telephone numbers (including cell phone), age, and occupation. I greatly appreciate his warning to avoid business dealings with the people I've been doing business with, as this is an illegal activity and could be cause for prosecution.
I just need to send the required information and within 72 hours, I will have my Swifte ATM card. Of course, I can fully trust his statement, "This decision is binding in accordance with Article 356 Act of the laws establishing this supreme office."
I just hope the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) doesn't realize that I don't really have a contract there...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Isaiah was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, which is part of the autism spectrum. He may end up with an Asperger's diagnosis later but he was too young for that diagnosis now. He's a lot more sociable than a lot of children with an autistic-spectrum diagnosis. Isaiah is very immature for his age, but he's also very charming. He has a great personality and once we got past his "I have to do it this way" routines, he's mostly very easy to deal with.
There are times when he does challenge our patience and other times where he is the most charming child you would ever want to meet. I am so blessed to have been able to be in his life as much as I have been. I would not have wanted any of the last three years to have not taken place if it meant that I would have lost this wonderful opportunity with Isaiah.
Things he's done in the past include lining things up by size, color, or shape; insisting there was only one way to do something because he could not fathom any other path to the same result; not understood when people were laughing that they weren't laughing at "him" but rather at something that he did; having his own special language that only he understood - a language that he was so good at that he could repeat the same sounds exactly if you asked him to repeat something; not eating food because of the texture, or changing a like to a dislike overnight because of texture; had uncontrollable, inconsolable emotional meltdowns over very minor incidents; flapping his arms when he's excited (he still does this but says he's flying). I'm sure there are many other things that I've left out but I can't remember them right now.
Many children with an autism-spectrum diagnosis are very sensitive to touch, and Isaiah has been no different. He does not like to be touched by strangers (even unfamiliar family members) but will readily give hugs and affection to people he knows and has gotten comfortable with. He is very picky about how high we can fasten his coat or zipper, he doesn't like things around his neck, he doesn't like his clothes too tight, and he doesn't like the feel of certain materials. He also is very resistant to change, no matter how slight. If we tell him that we're going to do something in 1-2-3 order, and we suddenly reverse 3 and 2 now doing it in 1-3-2 order, he is very adamant that we have to do it the other way.
There are many things that are wonderful to behold through Isaiah's "eyes"...
We went to Outback Steak House Friday night. Isaiah was charming. He asked the assistant manager what her name was. It's Holly. He says Holly is a nice name and she thanks him. He says he's five years old and asks how old she is. She says she's 21. "Oh... well, I'm 5," he says. Twenty-one must sound really old to him. (hmmm... wonder what 52 sounds like...)
Later he asks her again what her name was and she very sweetly reminded him (many times). He said his grandma (that would be me) was cute. She thinks he's funny. We all got a good laugh.
During the course of the evening, he tells us his girlfriends' names (he has six or seven), tells Holly (and her manager, Brittany - who just happens to be Holly's boss) that he's a good singer. He's usually pretty shy so we figured he'd clam up and not sing, but he didn't.
I wasn't sure where he got the "cute" phrase from until I heard him say (in Rudolph-fashion), "I'm cute! I'm cute! She said I'm cute!" I thought I was hearing the movie.
A Game Called Racing:
Isaiah likes to play Mario Kart but he calls it "a game called racing" and he asks if he can play "a game called racing" - every time he mentions it. He wants to play the "dark one" and the "mushrooms" all the times (all the "times" means each time he plays it, not just one time).
Bryan doesn't know how to play a game called racing, so Isaiah says he'll teach him. Isaiah beats him. Badly. Several times. Finally, Bryan was able to beat Isaiah in one race. Isaiah looked at him and said, "you can play by yourself." It doesn't sound too comical to see it in print, but if you could hear Isaiah say it you'd know that he was none too happy that Bryan got good enough to beat him.
I need a hug:
Have you ever gotten onto a child and, in order to deflect the punishment, you suddenly hear "I need a hug" come out of his/her mouth? Isaiah is a prime example of suddenly needing a hug or a kiss. To be fair, he often wants a hug or a kiss anyway. He's a very affectionate child and I thoroughly enjoy his statements that he needs a hug. He probably knows that I need one, too.
I didn't hit a girl:
Isaiah sometimes has difficulty in school. Because of his developmental delays he's not as savvy as some of the other children. He's also not as mature as a lot of the children in his class. I was looking at the statistics on his classmates and Isaiah is among the youngest and the smallest of his class. There are even several girls who are bigger than he is.
Many times Isaiah will say something happened to him "yesterday" when, in fact, yesterday means any time in the past. If he says something is "tomorrow" he means any time in the future. When other children pick on him they often get by with it because they are more subtle and don't get caught. Isaiah remembers that they've done something to him and he does try to get even with them. He nearly always gets caught and then he gets into trouble.
That's how it should be. We don't want him to get away with things and when he gets into trouble at school, he has consequences at home.
Isaiah has had a problem keeping his hands to himself. One day, he came home with a note that said he'd hit a girl. I got on to him and explained that he's to not hit ANYONE at any time, but especially he's to NEVER hit a girl. If someone else hits him, then he's to tell the teacher, but not hit back.
He said he understood and he wouldn't do it again. The next day he came home and said he got into trouble for pushing someone. But, he said he didn't hit a girl. As if that made it all OK.
I think he forgot the first part of that - don't hit ANYONE.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Isaiah has a vivid imagination. His teacher said that they look forward to his letter of the week show and tell. They never know what he's going to pull out of the bag. Have you ever met an alligator named Toad, or a snake named Tortilla? I hadn't either.
Isaiah told me today that Tortilla is a very good name. I agree, but I usually eat things named "Tortilla." I just can't tell Isaiah that.
Isaiah also has a stuffed dog named Shrek.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I decided that while I don't want to take the risk of losing 6% of my salary, I don't want to not contribute anything. So I changed my pre-tax contribution to 3% and my employer will still contribute 3%. Hopefully, that will make a little bit of difference in what I clear each payday and when the market rebounds, I can increase the 401k contribution.
I don't have much in savings. My goal is to get out of debt and save money as we do that. I can only rely on God through it all and pray for the best outcome. I am working on doing pay as I go only. I have used my credit card a few times in the past month but I've turned around and paid most of it right back off. Christmas will be cash only and very slim. The married adults with children are getting nothing; the unmarried adults are getting nearly nothing. The children are the only ones I'm spending money on and even then I'm not spending much. With three unmarried children and seven grandchildren, the money just won't stretch. Luckily, I purchased gifts for the girls several months ago, so they already have a good start. I think that will be all and then just give them a little - and I do mean little - bit of cash. The other boys will get cash, and not much of that. For Isaiah and Alexander things are a bit different. I have Alexander's purchased and ready to mail. I've got most of Isaiah's purchased. I just want to get him one more thing. Amy and Keith will get something small (Amy's is purchased); Shaun and Jenny are maybe getting a $25 gift card to Walmart. Tim/Kim and Stacey/Charles will probably get a hand-made card with candy. Aaron will probably get a $25 gift card. Even with very reduced amounts, buying for that many people is still expensive. I enjoy giving gifts and wish I could do more year round. But, this past year has been a big financial challenge.
Ron and I decided that we are not buying anything for each other. We are working on our basement and because of that expense, there is no extra. Ron is trading some of his music equipment for the labor and I was able to come up with the other $750 we needed. Amy contributed $700 towards the cabinets for the kitchenette. I'll have to pay her back sometime in the near future.
The next stage of the basement will come when we've got a bit more money. The extra cabinets will be nice to store canned goods and extra non-perishable items.
I'm not worried about things because I truly believe that God is in control. He's brought us through tough times before and I know He will this time, too. It's just a matter of trust and faith. I say don't sweat the things you cannot change and then I work really hard to practice what I preach to others.
Amy and I are going to go out on Black Friday but mostly for the fun of going. She’s not bought anything yet so she wants to see if there’s anything a better deal for Isaiah than what she’s got planned. She’s not going all out this year either. She’s bought Rex a couple of presents and we told her to not get us anything. She said to not do that because then I always feel sad. That is true, but it’s usually because in the past I’ve bought things for Ron and really put a lot of thought into it and many years he’s bought me nothing. He always said that we’d go get whatever I wanted, but what I wanted was for him to THINK about me and take some initiative. It’s not the same when you have to go buy your own gifts. My feelings were frequently hurt.
This year is different though. I know we’re not in a financial position to go do a lot of shopping, there’s really nothing that I can’t live without, and since he’s not driving or working, I know that it’s absolutely not possible for him to get out and go shopping. That would be totally selfish of me if I thought that.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
He said, "Wow!" when he walked in and saw Ron's foot. He also said that a heel wound on a diabetic is usually the "kiss of death" for the leg. Most wounds like Ron's end up in amputation.
God is so good! It's truly because of His grace that Ron is doing as well as he is.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Isaiah was in the tub in the next room so she was talking really quiet.
Amy: This is what I think Isaiah's big toy is going to be for Christmas.(shows me a cell phone picture)
Me: What is it? (after all, it is a cell phone picture)
Amy: (very quietly) It's a dinosaur that walks with a remote control. It's really big.
Isaiah: A dinosaur! I love dinosaurs that walk!
Amy: (laughing) Is there a book about walking dinosaurs?
Isaiah: Yes, I want that book.
I was typing up something and Isaiah saw the letters of his name. He said I was writing "Isaiah loves pumpkin pie and you fix it like this."
I decided I'd write down and save his instructions:
Bake it brown before you cook it. Cook really hard. The oven has to be on 20. It has to cook really fast. It takes 100 minutes. Then you can eat it.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I would have bought any other color over a silver one, but that's what was available. Why are so many silver cars available and not so many other colors? I know when Amy bought her car last year, it was also the only one available. When Kris bought her Vibe - yep, you guessed it. Silver was the only one available.
Maybe I'll paint it someday. The interior will go with any color. I think red would be nice.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
It is very good to not have to worry about the wound VAC. Ron said it was easier to get into the bathroom without worrying about where the machine is, is he running over the tubing (that happened so many times), is the machine not too far away so he's not stretching the tubing, etc. It is also nice to not have to worry about the battery running down.
Of course, the fact that we are no longer being billed for this is a major relief! I'm afraid to add up all of the insurance statements, but I'm going to have to if for no other reason than my own morbid curiosity. I think the total for this machine is going to be in the $40,000 range. That will really be nice. It will take a while to pay off the balance but that's life.
What's important is that he's still got one!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
It will be so good to get that turned back in! Too bad they won't take back the brand-new, unused box of dressings that have had the tape pulled off. That's $350 worth of bandages that we just have to eat. None of the contents have been opened but the box has been. Oh well... maybe I can sell them on eBay for a fraction of the cost. I also have a couple of canisters. I am able to send back one carton of canisters ($275) and two boxes of dressings. Hopefully, they'll give us credit for them. Technically, I guess they'll credit insurance first and then the difference will be credited to our share. It would be nice to get the whole credit though. Even after their deduction for what insurance made them absorb, it would still be about $500 credit on our portion of the bill. That would be very, very nice.
Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy. Ron's foot could very well have needed to be amputated.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
He remembered the name of our doctor's nurse, and it's not a name that would be very familiar to him because she's relatively new. He told me that she called yesterday, which is surprising on it's own (that he remembered someone called) and what her name is. I was pretty amazed.
He said tonight that he feels like he's thinking much clearer. That's a relief! He may be (finally) on the road to recovery. He sees the orthopedic doctor tomorrow. Our home health nurse said his foot looks much better. We're hopeful that the doctor will discontinue the wound vac. That would be very nice!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Ron started on Aricept this week. I am not sure how long it will take before we see any improvement in his memory, or if we will see one at all. Maybe all we'll see is no continued decline of his memory functions.
According to their website, Aricept users could experience any of the following - which would indicate that it was working:
Symptoms may improve
Symptoms may not change
Symptoms may worsen slower than without ARICEPT
We will have to wait and see how this goes. The doctor gave him a 30 day supply to start.
Next month, maybe she'll start him on Topamax to see if his tremors improve.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
No matter which way the vote went, it would have been an historic election. First female vice president or first black (and white) president. It'll all go down in the history books.
I was sorry to read that Senator Obama's "white" grandmother had passed away. Why is it so important to differentiate between his "white" grandmother and his "black" grandmother? Both of my grandsons are of mixed heritage (I don't say race as we're all one race - human - but of different ethnic backgrounds). Should I refer to myself as their white grandmother? Should people refer to me as such? Or, how about my daughter? Is she Isaiah's "white" mother? NO, she is is MOTHER - plain and simple, just as I am his GRANDMOTHER and his "Mexican" grandmother is his grandmother. The mixture of his Hispanic bloodline with our Caucasian/American Indian bloodline is not an issue in our love for him - or his love for us - so should not be an issue to others. The same goes for Alexander. His other grandparents are Chinese and they love his Caucasian part just as much as I love his Chinese part. It's the totality of the person, not the mixing of the bloodline, that makes a person.
So, to say that Obama's white grandmother passes away does her an injustice. She was his grandmother. She didn't care about anything else but loving that child into adulthood. I would like to think that he loved her with the same unwavering love that she must have felt for him. It would be nice to think so.
I pray that God keeps His hand on Senator Obama as he assumes the role he has fought for. I pray that he allows God to lead the way and that he starts each day earnestly seeking wisdom and direction. I pray that his choices for cabinet offices, and any other positions where he has authority, are men and women of God. I know that is a lot to ask, but I believe that God is still in control. He knew the outcome of the election before the first vote was cast. He knows what tomorrow, and all of the tomorrows to come, will bring.
I pray that He continues to guide, protect, and keep my family and I safe in these troubled times.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I won't resort to any mud-slinging, as I think that does nothing to make Christians look better. I am concerned that people are voting for Obama for the wrong reason - solely because he's black. Well, he's also half white. Big deal. His race makes no difference to me. I also don't really care if he's Muslim or if he's not. I care *if* he is that he lied about it. (According to Islam, he is Muslim. According to him, he's a Christian. Only God knows for sure.)
I care that he went to a church for 20 years and never seemed to be bothered by the message the preacher was giving. I care that he was bothered after it was politically correct and not beforehand.
I care that he calls an American flag lapel pin "that pin" instead of what it is. Why is he concerned that "that pin" might be offensive to some? Big deal. It's a symbol of FREEDOM for many, many more. Who are we catering to?
I care that he wants to re-distribute the wealth. Is he going to re-distribute his? How about the amount of money he spends on sending his children to private schools? I have no problem with him sending them someplace other than the public school system, but what's OK for him should be OK for others. Why not provide vouchers so parents can send their children to the schools of their choice - be it public, private, Christian, or any other religion.
I care that he is thinks illegal aliens should be allowed to get drivers licenses and be given citizenship. Why? Did they earn it? No. Didn't everyone else who immigrated to this country have to earn their citizenship? Why shouldn't everyone else have to do it, too? After all, if he wants everything to be fairly distributed (wealth, taxes, etc), then citizenship should be granted to everyone the same way it's always been done. Earning it. That would make it fair.
I care that he appears to be endorsing voter fraud with his ACORN contacts and endorsement. Is he afraid that he can't win honestly?
I care that he's flying a Cuban flag at his campaign headquarters. Last time I checked, he was running for president of the US - not Cuba. What gives with that?
I care that he was in the Senate for 143 days (give or take a few) and announced that he was running for president. I don't know of any place of employment where you can expect to go to the top in 143 days. What makes him think he's qualified to be president?
I care that he has ties to people who have very questionable backgrounds including Rashid Khalidi and Williams Ayers, among others. I care that terrorist groups have given him backing. Hamas, Khadafi, and others.
I care that there is so much negative about him that people are overlooking.
I care that the smear campaigns that both sides conducted will have a negative impact overall, no matter which party wins. I see the possibility of a long struggle ahead for all of us.
I got a note from a friend who said she had received notifications from reliable sources that if Obama does not win the election there will be riots in several cities across the nation. No matter which party wins there should not be any rioting or bloodshed. It just reinforces the "racial" lines and distrust. What would happen if McCain lost and those who wanted him in office started riots? Not good. Not good. It just makes both sides look bad.
Thank God that He is still in charge!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I took a few of photos from my co-worker and created a couple of layouts at Cropmom. They turned out really cute and I'm very pleased with them.
Isaiah had a great time with his friends on Halloween. He dressed up as Woody from the Buzz Lightyear movie. Amy bought him a "horse" to ride. He looked so cute. I saw this haunted house on Cropmom's site and knew it would be perfect for use as a frame for some of his pictures.
Friday, October 31, 2008
In 2006, I took 3rd place with my rendition of "Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin." Ron was in the hospital right before Halloween so I had to take a picture, while at the hospital, during the showing of The Great Pumpkin with my phone. I wasn't too impressed with how it came out, but it was cute.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I said I did not know what he was talking about and where was he going with that statement. He said no where but he doesn't know what to eat; he opens the refrigerator and/or freezer and all he sees is stuff that looks like it's Amy's. I got a little agitated at that and asked him what exactly did he mean. I asked him just what else I could do since it was obvious that he doesn't think I'm doing enough for him and that I'm neglecting him in some way.
He says, "Don't start that tonight," like I'm bringing up the subject about him and food. Excuse me - you're the one who opened your mouth. I said there was lunch meat and cheese (that I've told him about no less than four times) that he ASKED me to buy, yesterday I specifically told him that anything, and I meant ANYTHING that he saw in the refrigerator or freezer was fair game. If it was something Amy wanted specifically, we could either replace it or she could put it in the outside freezer. I also brought home several Lean Cuisine meals yesterday and told him they were going in the freezer drawer (even showed him). Today he didn't eat and tonight he's trying to blame other things for not doing so.
I did tell him that I don't feel like I should be the goalie and watch what he eats. This afternoon, he had a Super Sonic cheeseburger, 1/2 of an order of onion rings, and a double waffle cone from Freddy's Frozen Custard. Then, early this evening Amy stopped at McDonald's and called to see if we wanted anything. Ron wanted a strawberry shake. She bought him one, but thankfully it was only a small. I told him that he knows what he should and shouldn't have and it should not be my responsibility to police his actions.
Then he said that he was leading up to there's no salad things and that's what you should eat when you're not trying to eat other things. I said, "Have you asked me to bring home salad things?" He did say that no, he had not. I've bought salad stuff before and it gets thrown away because - he forgets it's there.
I was headed to bed but I'm going to the store instead. To get salad stuff. I'm too upset to sleep right now so I might as well go shopping.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I should not feel resentful. I should feel thankful. Thankful that I've got a roof over my head, food to eat, a car to drive, and a job to go to every day. That's what I know I "should" feel - and I am very thankful. That doesn't help the "this is what I do feel" feeling.
I don't know what's wrong with me. I should be not having any difficulties at all.
I'm just being selfish. And *itchy. It'll pass.
I am not a nurse. I don't want to be a nurse. I didn't EVER want to be a nurse. I don't do bedpans. I don't do enemas. I don't do vomit. There are some things that are just absolutely out of my realm and I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE that I feel like I MUST be responsible for someone else being able to poop. It's really hard to do a self-enema or suppositories. I know that. But - do I want to do it???? NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It doesn't matter that he is my spouse. I don't like it, I don't want any part of it, and it grosses me out.
I am not a teacher. I know that. I tried it once - taught kindergarten. I have had no training in teaching, I just stepped in to fill a need. I did an OK job but I wouldn't give myself any gold stars for anything but effort. I don't know how to get through to Isaiah when we're working on words. Sat - Mat - Sam - Tam - Am - At - Cat. Change one letter and he forgets what the rest of the sounds are that make the word. "Sat" does not become "Mat" when the S is replaced with an M. "Sam" does not become "Am" when the S is removed. He doesn't know what the new word sounds like, even after he's been told and shown. He is trying to memorize where on the sheet the word is located but when taken out of order, he doesn't know what they are. How do we help him with that? Is there no connection there or have we just not found the magic potion to make that connection?
We had a pest control company come today and spray for spiders. This morning I told Ron to ask about the military veteran discount. He called me while they were here and said that he wasn't old enough for senior discount (must be 65) so I asked if he'd mentioned the veteran discount. No, he forgot. I reminded him. Tonight, I asked him if they gave us the discount (Amy paid so she should have gotten the veteran's discount) and he said they had already left. No, they had not because I was on the phone with him and he said they were still here. So, that ticked me off. Why couldn't he ask them? Why - Why - Why??? Why not tell me the truth - he didn't ask as soon as he got off the phone and then he forgot.
He was supposed to call the doctor's office today to ask about the new medications. Tonight, I asked him if he called. About what, he says. Ugh! The medication! Oh, I'll call tomorrow...
We had spaghetti tonight for supper. Of course, Ron shook so badly that he spilled it all down his shirt and all over the table. I didn't get upset with him but it would have been nice if he had taken off his shirt before he ate. His stomach would have been a whole lot easier to clean the sauce off of.
The neurologist doesn't think he's bad enough "yet" - maybe he should come live with Ron for a while and see if he keeps his sanity. I'm sure mine is out the door. I should have known that taking a weekend off would totally screw up things when I came back. It's not that I believe one causes the other, but it does seem that whenever I start to relax and think I can handle things, I get the crap kicked out of me again.
I am just so totally ticked off right now that I really want to throw a big fit. Would that help? No. Would I feel better? I doubt it. But it would sure get rid of some pent-up anger. Am I really that mad at Ron or anyone else in particular? No, not at all. I'm angry at the world in general and life in particular.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Last night we had dinner at the Lucky J Restaurant and Arena. This is a restaurant and arena in one where you can watch the activities through a Plexiglas window while dining. Their menu includes steaks, chicken, burgers, fried catfish, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers. The activities in the arena include various rodeo attractions. The prices are reasonable and the quantities more than enough to share. We stayed there visiting until we felt we'd worn out our welcome.
From there, we moved to Iggy's Diner. We wanted some coffee but ended up with coffee and cheese cake. The size of the serving was very generous for the price ($2.99) and the coffee was pretty good, too. The server brought us powdered creamer and when we asked if they had any liquid, she said no but offered to bring us some milk. No charge. That was very nice.
The people we met in Carthage were very, very nice. If you've never been to see the Precious Moments Chapel, it's worth the drive to do so. The tours are free and are every hour. The gift shop has a lot of really neat items, and not just their own brand things. Of course, you're going to pay more for the PM items, but they have to make some money somewhere.
I've been there several times since they opened (in June 1989) and each time there is more to see. Sadly, they've also had to shut down a few things because of the lack of business. The "tour buses" don't seem to visit as often so they've had to cut down the amount of staff and the number of services they offer. It's truly very sad as this is a wonderful place to visit and re-charge. I never cease to be spiritually blessed from a visit. Sam Butcher is truly a man of God and shares his faith in a most wonderful way.
Anyway, Debbie and I had a wonderful time catching up on each other's lives. We haven't seen each other for two years. She came to town for my 50th birthday party and then we've not been able to get together since then. We decided that we needed to do a weekend every year.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
He obviously hadn’t read Ron’s chart either because he totally forgot that he’d seen Ron in the hospital and he had forgotten that Ron saw him in 2002 and saw one of his partners in 2005. Once he actually stopped and read some of his own notes (which were right there in front of him), things started coming back to him.
The doctor asked him a series of questions, asked him to spell “world” and spell it backwards. He couldn’t spell it backwards (gave a w at both ends) but got close after about three tries. Asked him who the president was – got that right. Who the candidates were – John McCain and “Obama yo mama” and then laughed because he couldn’t remember his actual name. Asked who the running mates were; McCain and Biden. Asked if McCain and McCain were running. No, it’s McCain and Sara, Obama and Biden. Doc then asked him how many kids he had and how many grandchildren. He said six kids and six grandkids (there’s seven grandkids). Asked him where his children lived. He got close on Stacey (between Haysville and Derby), couldn’t remember the town where Tim lives (Andover), thought Keith still lived on Rock Road and never got any farther than that until later in the conversation he said Shaun lived in California. Doctor told him to remember airplane, book, and spoon and then he talked to him for a while, asking him several questions. Then he asked him what three things he was supposed to remember. After several tries he finally got plane and book.
He doesn’t think Ron is bad yet but says he has a definite problem and to watch it. If it gets worse then our primary care doctor should put him on some medication. I said that’s what she wanted him to determine. I said his home memory was a problem right now. I need him to remember things that he’s not remembering – like take his medication, important phone calls (he can’t write so it’s not like he can take a message so if I don’t see it on caller ID I don’t know who has called), to eat, etc. So, he said he’d recommend that primary care doctor start him on Aricept. He didn’t want to prescribe anything himself because he’s retiring next month (after 38 years in the medical field) so he’ll send his recommendations to our primary care doctor.
For the tremors, he said that since Ron had taken Inderol before and it didn’t work (took it in 2005) he didn’t want to give him that – especially because of the pacemaker and kidney disease. So he recommended Topamax. I know Amy tried Topamax when she had migraines and it made her really sick. I’m not sure what it will do for Ron – or not do.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Me: How come you didn't take your morning pills?
Him: I did.
Me: No, they're still in the medicine cup, right where I put them.
Him: Oh. Then I guess I didn't take them.
Me: And, why???
Him: Forgot I guess. I'll take them tomorrow morning.
This morning (as he's eating a bowl of cereal):
Me: Ron, you didn't take your pills again yesterday morning.
Him: I didn't?
Me: No, you didn't.
Him: Bring them to me and I'll take them right now.
Me: I'll have to go back and get them. (walk back to bathroom, get pill cup, bring it to the kitchen, and put it on the counter.) Here.
Me: How come you didn't take your pills?
Him: no answer; chews, swallows, takes another bite.
Me: Taking them right now doesn't explain why you didn't take them yesterday.
Him: still no answer. Just eating.
Me: You say you don't know what to say to me when I'm upset but I'm not, I'm just asking you a question because I'm concerned. (silence) Never mind, I see you're not going to answer me.
Him: I was chewing.
Me: No, actually you were not. (by now, I'm ticked) You chewed, swallowed, and then took another bite while ignoring what I was asking.
Me (as I'm loading the dishwasher and look up to see that he's gone): Where are you now?
Him: I went to the bedroom to get my pills.
Me: They're right here! I brought them to you just like you asked me to.
Him: No comment... no conversation... silence
Me: I'm going to work. I'll talk to you later.
As I'm driving to work I'm trying to formulate exactly what is going on with this relationship. I no longer feel like I'm the wife. I feel like I've been demoted to the caretaker and you don't have to talk to your caretaker if you don't want to. After all, how important is a caretaker? You have no emotional attachment to the caretaker since it's their job to take care of you. No more, no less.
When did I cease to be the wife, someone he would talk to and carry on a conversation with? When did it become silence between us except when we're discussing medical problems, doctors appointments, medical expenses, and so forth? When did I transfer over to the role of caretaker first, spouse second? I don't know but I don't like it.
I'm nearly to work when he calls. He's worried, he says. So am I, I say. But, we're worried for different reasons. He thinks I've given up on him and I'm going to "put him away" while I'm worried that he's losing his mind. I tell him that even *IF* I wanted to put him somewhere (which I don't), financially there is no way to do so. He has nothing to worry about. I'm in it for the long haul. When you commit to someone, it doesn't mean you stay until the going gets tough. It means you keep on keepin' on.
Me, on the other hand, I worry about his health, his mind, his total being. I tell him that I don't feel loved or appreciated, that when he does not even attempt to engage in conversation with me that it tells me I'm just not important enough to him to put out the effort. I tell him that I feel I'm the only one doing all that I can to help him get better. I buy him food, tell him what's there, or specifically tell him to eat a particular thing and he does not. He asks me to get stuff (such as lunch meat and cheese) and I end up throwing it out because it has gone bad. He says he didn't know the lunch meat was there. I say yes, you did because you had at least one sandwich from it. He says he doesn't remember. I say I buy you the Lean Cuisine meals that you want (a week's worth at a time) and it takes three weeks with me taking some to work to use them up. He says he didn't know they were there. I tell him I showed him where they were.
I tell him his attempt at getting himself better is to lay in the bed with his leg up and do nothing. He doesn't do any of the exercises the PT or OT taught him to do. The doctor has even told him that he doesn't have to stay in bed, he's just to not put any weight on his foot. He does nothing but sleep and watch TV and then wonders why he can't sleep at night. He says he should write down the things he does. I say that would be good for him, and good for his brain. He says he can't write. I say I know this but it was worth a shot.
He says he's trying to eat less so he will take some of the extra weight off. I tell him that not taking his medication and not eating is not how to do it. I tell him if he doesn't do something about some kind of exercise he'll be too weak to do anything once he's able to be up and around again. He says he does lots but when asked he can't name a thing.
I tell him that he's been through a lot - people say how much he's been through and all that he's suffered. I tell him that I fully understand that because I've been with him every step of the way.
He doesn't understand how not talking to me makes me feel less important. I try to explain to him if the roles were reversed - and if he was talking to me and I just kept right on doing what I was doing, how would that make him feel? I say the only time I don't answer him is if I absolutely don't hear him (and being 50% deaf, I have a good excuse). Other than that I always, always, reply to him. I never know if I'm going to get a response or not. He says he thought it was a rhetorical question. I say even so, he should have had some kind of reply. We've had the discussion before that I hate it when he ignores me. I really feel very unimportant when he does so - even if he does think I'm mad. Big deal. Discuss it. What am I going to do? Probably nothing but talk about it.
He finally admits that he would probably feel pretty badly, too if I treated him the same way.
Mission accomplished! At least there's a glimmer of hope that he'll put out some effort in the future. I did tell him the other day that if I wanted to live in silence, I could live alone. I don't enjoy feeling like we're housemates and nothing else. Except housemates share the responsibility for things. We don't. It's all me - and what I give to Amy.
Amy said she heard us this morning. I knew she would. Oh well. It couldn't be helped and it's not like we were screaming at each other. We weren't. I didn't storm out or slam any doors. I just left in resignation that this must be all there is to this life. How fun. She says what I said was a little harsh and that I need a real outlet, not just the blog. Where does she suppose I'm going to find that, and if I do find it how would I pay for it, use it, or benefit from it? I can't even plan an overnight away without making sure all the bases are covered with firm commitments from those involved that I won't be left hanging.
I honestly don't resent it but I am tired. Neither of us signed on for this when we said "I do." No one does. You go into a relationship with your eyes wide open, but with blinders on. Blinders to block out the possible outcomes and the possible scenarios. No one wants to imagine how life could be - and often is.
Even if I knew that today is where I'd end up, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. He's the love of my life, he was my Prince Charming, and my soul mate. There could be no other for me but him, no matter what the path we may have trod.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
He asked me what I wanted and I said I wanted conversation from him. I wanted to be able to mention something - no matter what the subject - and know that he's going to respond. Even if I'm upset with something HE has done, it helps to talk about it. He thinks if he just doesn't say anything then it will be just fine. It's not. Him not talking just irritates me more.
I know that a lot of Ron's problems are the memory lapses he has but it's still tough for me to not over-react when an issue comes up that is a result of his memory lapses. He goes to the neurologist on Thursday so maybe there will be an answer for us.
Here's an example of an issue I have problems dealing with:
We're still having well and sprinkler problems. The well people take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to return phone calls and that's one reason the sprinkler people think that the sprinklers were working well all summer. I had called the well people several times over a six week period and it took them that long to call me back.
Once they did, they came out and put a water restrictor on the well, which was supposed to help the water pressure and run the sprinkler system better. They re-iterated that they'd told us and The Tree Guys that the well was doing 6-7 gallons per minute and the system should be designed for that. I absolutely remember that conversation as I also told The Tree Guys the same thing. Since I know nothing about wells and this sticks out, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was said.
Ryan (with The Tree Guys) said to design a system like he said would have cost us $15,000 because he would have had to put in a lot more sprinkler heads and it would not have been cost efficient on a yard this size. Weninger sent us a letter and said the well was doing 6-7 gpm and Ryan needed to re-design the system.
Ryan's answer is to hook us up to the city water this spring - and "only" charge us a portion, including the permit to hook into the city. After spending as much as we have I'm really upset that the only answer is to spend more money. I told him that the sprinklers hadn't been working correctly all summer and did he forget how many times I called and said there was a problem? Or, how many times Greg came out? I said I had not watched the entire nine zones go through their entire cycle so I had no idea how far into the cycle the problems started. I said I was willing to do three cycles at a time over the course of two mornings and one evening just to get the system going. But, I can't because there's not enough pressure to push up the heads for even the first zone, so for sure I'd just be wasting time, water, and electricity to do anything.
Weninger blames The Tree Guys, and they blame Weninger.
Ryan did have Greg, his partner, put on smaller sprinkler heads but we don't know if they work because of the flow restrictor. I've been trying to get Weninger back out here to remove the restrictor but they don't return phone calls very well.
They called the other day. Ron didn't ask them to come back out. I've only been talking about it for WEEKS but he didn't remember that we needed them for anything. He said he had no idea that I wanted them to come back out. That is, until I re-iterated the conversations I'd been having about wanting to see if the new heads were working and I didn't want to pay to hook up to the city if they were, but we couldn't see if they were because of the restrictor.
Oh... he forgot.
So, how do I deal with that? I'm clueless and running on empty.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
So, I decided to look into trading them both in. I was surprised at how much they gave us for the Explorer – and how much they didn’t give us for the van. Yikes! I was way upside down but Chrysler had an incentive program that gave me $4,000 extra to put towards the car so that helped. All told, it will save us $500 per month right now, which is very important. That takes into consideration Ron’s car payment being gone, insurance being nearly cut in half, and the warranty on his car that we got to cancel. My car payment went up $33. Another good thing about it is our tags were due in November and I was only going to be able to tag one car (the Explorer since it hauled the scooter) so now I only have to tag one.
After figuring everything up (except the cost of tagging the extra vehicle), over the life of this car loan it will cost us an extra $617. If I took into consideration the cost of the vehicle tags, I’m sure we’re still coming out ahead. Our interest rate on this is better than the interest we had on either of the other two loans. I hate the thought of being in debt but really felt that this was what we needed to do so we made it through this financial patch we’re currently in.
The new car has quite a bit of pep, which is nice but something I'll have to watch. My van did not have the fast acceleration that this has. I looked down as I was just breezing along and saw that I was approaching 70 mph. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 60 mph so I definitely needed to slow down. I set the cruise control instead.
I almost forgot to say… I got a Plymouth Pacifica Touring. It’s got cloth seats (which I wanted), no sunroof (which I’m glad for), but it’s missing the hands-free Bluetooth that’s factory installed (UConnect). I had UConnect in the van and loved it. I will have to get an after-market system because I can’t drive and hold a phone. I ordered something through Verizon that was supposed to work with the Pacifica but when I got it, I discovered that you have to drill a hole in the dash and I wasn’t having any part of that. Plus, the system didn’t say it supported my telephone model. I sent it back. I have to wait until my account is credited back the money before I try to buy anything else. Circuit City has one that’s gotten pretty good reviews so I may go check it out.
I have to send the car back to the dealership on Monday though. They had a company transfer the scooter ramp from the Explorer to the Pacifica and install it. It cost $600 to do this but I’ll get it back from Chrysler’s Adaptive Equipment plan. It reimburses up to $1000 on adaptive equipment additions to new vehicles if done within 30 days of purchase. The platform sits too low to the ground and I’m afraid that I’ll drag once the scooter is on it. I was going to give it a try this afternoon but when I tried to lock the ramp in the upright position, the bolt didn’t even come close to meeting the hole it was supposed to go through. Somehow they’ve warped the platform in such a way that the two pieces no longer meet.
I called our salesman, a man who has been a personal friend for about 15 years, back and explained the problem. He’s going to come to my work on Monday and see about getting the existing ramp fixed, getting the hitch put up higher, and if they can’t fix the ramp they’ll get us a new one.
For now though, it means that Ron can’t go anywhere I’d need to take his scooter. Bummer for us all.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Today it was the case manager. You'd think the case manager would know to do everything. No... she didn't draw blood. Ron said he didn't know she was supposed to. Ummm.... he gets drawn blood EVERY Friday. It's not like it's a new thing.
He also has gotten to where he thinks the wound vac needs to come off. I'd LOVE for it to come off. It's costing so much money per week that I would not miss it at all. Every time we go to the doctor he says something about it coming off. It's draining a lot and he can't seem to get it through his thick head that the wound vac is DRAINING OFF THE EXCESS FLUID and helping the foot to heal. Why is that so difficult for him??? Why should I have to explain it to him over and over again?
He's been telling the nurses (both here and at the doctor's office) that he doesn't want them to wrap his foot with gauze after they put the wound vac on. Every time I hear him say that, I say it HAS to be wrapped to keep the wound vac from coming off. He doesn't keep his foot off the floor. If he did, then I wouldn't worry about the wound vac coming off or about bacteria from the floor - or the street - getting under the tape. I get so bleeping mad at him for continuing to ask stuff. Why can't he just DO WHAT HE'S TOLD and get on with it? Why is it that every time he screws up I HAVE TO FIX IT???
I know that he's tired of being a patient. God knows I understand that. I can't say that as tired of it as he is, but I bet I'm really close. "He's been through so much." Well - I've been there with him every step of the way so I have a good idea of how tired he is of things because I'm right there, too.
So... tonight I'm sitting on the sofa eating my dinner and I look down and his foot is unwrapped. Just the wound vac and tape. Nothing else. No protection from the elements at all. I asked him why didn't the nurse wrap his foot. He said he wanted it to get some air but she left a roll of Kerlix for him (me) to wrap it up later. I should have just put my food down and put on the rubber gloves. I might have been able to salvage the bandage.
But, no..... I think I can wait until bedtime to wrap it up. Surely he's not going to screw it up before then. Stupid, stupid, stupid me. Who did I think I was kidding? About 30 min ago he hollers at me from the bathroom "my bandage is leaking, I'm bleeding on the floor." Of course, that just totally ticks me off (my mind is saying much stronger words so just substitute what I WANT to write but I'm not GOING to write) and I go to take a look.
I told him I can't work on it while he's in the bathroom so he gets on the scooter and heads into the bedroom - and just sits there. Duh... I can't work on it while you're on the scooter either. He says he didn't know where I wanted him. Excuse me... could he not get in the same place where he puts himself when the nurse changes his bandage? Did I have to draw him a flipping picture???
I take one look at it and KNOW that the flipping thing has to come off and that totally makes me mad. Mad at him, mad at the nurse, and mad at the situation. It's $59 for the dressing, plus the nurse's charge - and it gets to come off after being on less than 6 hours. I know I'll have to do a wet-to-dry bandage and thank God she left the roll of Kerlix or I'd have nothing to wrap it with. So I clean the tape off of his foot and clean the wound with Saline solution and stick a 4x4 pad on it while I go call the nurse.
I was going to complain to the case manager that the nurse should have known better than to put the vac attachment on the bottom of his foot and then not add any protection to it at all. It wasn't until she told me her name that I realized I was calling back the case manager and it was her who'd been out today. She said she just didn't know why it came off, did he step on it or pull on it??? It was on so good earlier in the day. Yeah, right... Put the blame on him instead of saying that she should have wrapped it.
She'll have the on-call nurse come out tomorrow and re-do the bandage. That's another $59 plus $60 for the nurse visit. I'm L-I-V-I-D. I honestly don't know who I'm more angry at - him for not shutting his mouth and letting people do their job, or her for not saying that it needed to be wrapped up.
And - when I try to talk to him about it I want him to say SOMETHING - ANYTHING. But no, he just sits there like a bump on a log.
Ugh!!! I have to go clean the bathroom floor.