Things I want to keep in mind.

Month: May, 2015

Home again, home again, jiggety jog

I have been gone for most of the month of May. It is nice to return to my house, my bed and my routine. Of course, it takes a little adjustment. I’ve been spending time with grandsons and I miss their little voices, their smells and their sweet faces. If wishes were fishes – they would all live within 30 minutes of my house. But alas, they don’t, so I will visit as often as I can! (Thank goodness for technology – I can see photos or videos at a moments’ notice!)

Whenever I travel, I always feel more ambitious when I return home. I think of projects I want to do, I make lists in my head. There are things I want to write about – I wish there was a way to record my thoughts automatically as they transpire. Unfortunately, they usually occur when I am driving or doing something that prevents me from writing them down. Later, when I am at the computer, the ideas are vague, the words less than impressive – the flow is missing. It sounded so much better in my head three days ago!

I should carry a small writing journal every where I go. Maybe one of the 20-some odd journals I have lying around the house with that same thought in mind…? I am a collector of journals – most of them blank, some have a few “starter” pages. If anyone wanted to follow my life, they would have to lay them all out and go back and forth between them – they are not in chronological order. For the love of pete!

Moving on. I am glad to be home again. I have a plethora of emotional and trying things to deal with over the next few weeks. My mother has declined and we are now looking at placing her in a home. Difficult times.

We will meet with the manager of the memory care facility to discuss cost, transition and care. Eventually, we will have to actually move her. That will be a very difficult day. She doesn’t think she is living in her home right now, so I think it will be harder on us than on her. She will be confused but it won’t be much of a change – in her usual confused state. We’re losing her a little at a time and it is so hard to watch. We have to remind ourselves that this step is the best way to take care of her.

She had a good life. She is loved – somewhere in the deep recesses, I hope she knows that.


Checking in

I have been on an extended trip, without my laptop.  I was really busy visiting a brand new grandson – so I really didn’t have time to write anyway, but I’ve sure missed it.  I brought a journal and I should have been writing there instead, but it just isn’t the same for me.  I prefer typing because I can “auto-correct” as I go.

I’ve said it before, my favorite time for writing is first thing in the morning, while my mind is fresh (and clean).  I can usually get a rhythm going as I watch the sunrise from my office window.  (Weather is gorgeous, by the way!  Clear blue sky and lots of green fields!!  I love spring/summer!)

I have a lot to write about. My husband and I drove to Ventura, California to meet our new grandson, Oliver. It was a long drive but we have been doing a lot more of that in the last year so we actually enjoy it. We stayed in hotels – which we also enjoy. Every time we travel, we learn something new about booking hotels – how to avoid the seedy hotels (go with no less than a three star rating – cheap is cheap and you get what you pay for!); make sure you look at the map for good location to visiting relatives, right off the freeway when traveling and near shopping if you have free time!

It was our first trip to California together. We did a little sightseeing. Most of it involved driving through crazy traffic. But we went to Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, Santa Barbara, The Hearst Castle, saw lots of redwood trees and beautiful ocean shores.

More importantly, saw a beautiful little boy. He is the perfect blend of two special people; his chin and headshape resembles his mom and his face and cheeks resemble his dad. He is a good eater and sleeper – and he will listen to your voice and stare at your face as if he knows what you are saying. Such sweetness.

We were also able to visit our other grandsons and to be present at little Charlie’s first birthday! What a precious boy with beautiful blue eyes and a pleasant disposition. He will be walking soon – he will give his older brother a run for his money! Of course, you know Jack will do his best to out-negotiate him!

Can I just say, I love retirement? I love being able to spend time being with these special little people. More later, I hear a little baby crying…

Mother’s Day

This day brings a gamut of emotions. First, to be losing my own mother every day – little by little. Very heart wrenching. She sacrificed a lot for her family. I am grateful to her for all of the lessons and love she bestowed onto me. She did the best she could do as a mom. And I am grateful to her for all of her help with my own kids – she was a very loving grandmother!

Second, I am able to spend this mother’s day with my youngest grandchild – my oldest son’s first child. He is such a treasure. What a sweet boy! I have enjoyed spending the first few days of his life with him – watching his mom and dad figure things out. He’s a lucky little boy to have such loving parents and so many people who really love him, sight unseen! My heart just swells with joy. I now have three grandsons. I am so blessed.

Third, I am filled with sentiment. I am so grateful for my sweet children. They made being a mother so worthwhile. They were easy to love, to be sure. We had our difficult moments, busy times and times of strife and worry. But for the most part, they were very loving and cooperative. They are grown now and starting lives of their own – learning their own lessons. I told my younger son earlier, all I ever really want for mother’s day is to know that my kids are all okay – that there are no reasons to worry. That’s all any mother really wants…

Fourth, and finally, I am so grateful for my husband. He is a pretty good dad and that helped me to be a good mom. He brings strength and balance into this world that is my family.

My son has a son

Little Oliver Rowan was born yesterday afternoon. I was so excited, I just couldn’t sit still. I cleaned my whole house!

At about 5:30 we got a photo and text, little Ollie was here! He is adorable, of course, and his mom and dad are ecstatic!

And so it begins.

Gabe and Ollie

Gabe and Ollie

Waiting for baby

My grandson will be born any day now. We are all just waiting for that text or call announcing his approach (sounds like an airplane). His mom is anxiously waiting. He is her first child. Those of us who have been through this know, the baby comes when the baby comes. Oh sure, you can be induced and pick the day of the birth or, medically, you may have to be induced. But if you are leaving it to the baby and your body – it will happen when it happens.

As a grandparent who has to travel to see the baby – it is a tough call. We have hotel reservations to try to arrange and we want to be there for the birth, but we don’t know exactly when that will be… We don’t want to arrive too early and only get to spend a couple of days with him, but we want to be with him for the first few days of his life. We’re lucky because we are retired and if he’s late, we can manage to stay a few extra days! We want to be able to help the new mom and dad, at least a little before we have to leave. And of course, we want to bond with that sweet little baby. I am also anxious to witness this special time with my son – who will be a great dad.

As a first-time mom, you don’t know what to expect of the birth. Everyone shares their stories with you but your story will be yours. It takes forever to actually start and then when it does, its like boarding a ride at the carnival. Once it starts moving, you are on until the ride is over! Even if you have had birthing classes and feel as though you know what to expect, you don’t know what is NORMAL. There is pain and anxiety and elation all rolled into one. You walk, you lie on your side, you sit in a tub of warm water, you rock in a rocking chair. It is a full day of waiting and “laboring”. Then, like someone flips a switch, you suddenly have the urge to push. It is an uncontrollable urge. Even if you are apprehensive and suddenly panic, thinking you’re not ready for this yet, it doesn’t matter, your body will push even if you don’t! You push and push and push. For a time, you may think this is never going to be over. And then it is. They lay that little bundle on your stomach, arms flailing and mouth open, mewling like a calf…it is indescribable.

Your life will never be the same – it just got a whole lot bigger.

There is a gamut of “firsts” – the first diaper change, the first poop (looks like yellow Elmer’s paste), the first try at nursing, burping and soothing. As new parents, you begin a lifetime of trial and error. Eventually, you find your parent zone. It does get easier or, at least, more comfortable. And as you go, you begin to love in ways you never knew possible. You can’t remember ever not having this little being in your life. And THAT’S as it should be.