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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

He’s a cute kid! I remember before he was born. I told myself I would not love him. There were lots of reasons but boy was I wrong! He’s very sweet and very thoughtful. He’s sensitive but also very tough. For the last three weeks, he keeps asking to come to my house and once he is here, he doesn’t want to leave. He even says he will go on errands with me, knowing that it will be boring. He’s also a good helper.

So before Christmas, I got an Amazon Echo Dot for their house. I have the original Echo here and have had it since it’s release years ago. I love it. It occurred to me that if there were an emergency, the boys can’t call me or anyone else. Their parent’s iPhones are password protected so they can’t use them. So I figured that if I got one for their house and taught them to say “Alexa, call Nana” or “Alexa call 911” they will be able to get help in case of an emergency. It also has games for the kids and tells them stories and jokes and looks up questions on wikipedia if needed. So I got it and they finally set it up. So now, at least five times a day, Alexa rings and says it’s a call from them. I answer it and it’s Spencer. He just calls to say hi! It’s very cute! I know he’s thinking of me when he calls in the middle of a show or a blog post or reading Facebook or listening to an audible book. It makes me smile. And when he comes tomorrow, I will teach him how to call for his mommy or his daddy if something happens to me and I need help, like the other day when I fell and it took me a while to get up by myself. I guess I should have called them but it didn’t occur to me. Now it will.

He’s a fixer. If something is broken, he takes it upon himself to fix it. He changes batteries and opens things up, like completely takes things apart, and fixes them or puts them back the right way if he can’t fix it. He’s four years old! I never get tired of his little voice saying, “I fix it, Nana. Let me. I fix it.”

Then there is the side that asks every time we are coming home in the dark, “Can we go see Christmas lights?” Even though we’ve told him over and over that Christmas is over until next year, he still asks. I have a light in the yard that he picked out after Christmas. It’s one of those laser type lights that has a moving function so that it looks like ripples in water. It’s just plain white. He loves it. But the other night, after my daughter told him one more time that Christmas is over, we drove into my driveway and he said, “Nana, turn off your light. Christmas is over!” Silly boy. The next night, he came over and did this:

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He took out my Christmas stuff and set it up, all by himself, and turned on the lights inside my dining room! So I guess Christmas isn’t over yet!

That Spencer is a special little boy. At least he is to us. He is different from his big brother and different from his baby sister. He’s himself and I guess I like it that way!

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Just me and my Spencer!

 

 

 

 

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Sunday

It’s almost over but today was Sunday. It was a good day. It didn’t rain. We’ve had endless days of rain. I can’t remember when the last day was that it didn’t rain. Today was dry and a lot warmer than it has been. I think we might have reached sixty degrees. It was so nice out, with the sun shining for a part of the day that the boys got in their swim suits and played with the hose, soaking themselves and everything around them, almost as if it had rained! How ironic.

They even convinced me to take them to the park for a short time (it didn’t take a lot of convincing). The problem was that they take so long to get ready and find their dry shoes that by the time they were ready, they had wasted almost an hour and darkness was right around the corner. We went anyway. By the time we got there (only about a five minute drive) the sun had begun to set so it was starting to get a bit chilly and they had not taken jackets so they played anyway, but not for too long before they got both cold and thirsty! Off we went to run a couple of my errands which I had postponed so they would have a little bit of park time. They were very good helpers. We were picking up and dropping off items for Buy Nothing and they were able to help me by walking up to the houses and grabbing my items. It saved me from having to struggle to get out of the car and hobble along with my cane. The drop off we did together because the house is on a street where traffic goes by way faster than the speed limit so I went with them.

They earned a treat and even though it was cold by then, they chose to get a slushy drink to share! Pretty cute, huh?

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Lots

That’s what I have to share. In fact, too much for what must be a quick to write post but if I wait until I have time to write a longer post, that will probably never come.

I’m so busy these days that I am getting all lost in the busyness and not enjoying the holiday season. I want just a couple of days to myself to wrap gifts and make lists and maybe make some tamales to share with the family. Just a couple of days. It seems I can’t catch my breath these days and when I have time I am just so exhausted that I don’t have the energy to focus on relaxing and enjoying and doing for me.

I hope that changes. I am trying to change it. I am starting the new year with a planner/journal. I haven’t done that in a long, long time. This one is called bullet journaling and it is new to me. I got my Happy Planner (mini) and a few (very few) accessories but I won’t start until the new year. In the meantime I want to figure out what sections I will put in it. Well, I think with bullet journaling they call them “collections” not sections or topics. I know I want to have a collection for tarot, gratitude, kids’ stuff, blogging ideas, and a section for my diabetes related stuff. I need to sit and plan it out and get some more refills, although I am thinking it may be more cost effective to get myself the paper punch and put together my own refills. We’ll see.

Diabetes. Several things. First, I got my A1c results back on Thursday and I am at a 7.1 which is super! 7.0 is target range for diabetics so I am excited to have made it to that number. And my insulin is working better now that I have learned to concentrate on the carbs I consume in relation to the insulin I inject. AND a big bonus: I finally got my one on one with the dietitian this past week and she asked me if I would be willing to try something different. It seems she has read a lot of articles that show that taking 1000 to 1200 grams of alpha lupeic acid can lower blood glucose, help with weight loss, AND help the pain from nerve damage. I said I would try it. The pain from the nerve damage is getting worse and if there is a chance that this will help, I will take it. The neat thing is that I only started taking it on Friday night and already it is having an affect on my glucose levels which means less insulin that I need to take which also means less weight gain (yes, insulin makes you gain weight). I had been gaining ten pounds  a month and that has to stop! I think this really might work! Yay!

There’s cute kiddo stuff to tell you about but I have to run again. I think we’re going to a Christmas program in just a bit and I’m not ready!

I hope you are all having a great holiday season and stopping, or at least pausing long enough, to enjoy it!

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Lamar

This is not the post I was going to write today but I feel compelled to write it anyway.

Lamar was my brother-in-law. I first met him around 1980, which was about two years after I married. Lamar and Sylvia (she’s my sister-in-law) began dating long distance. She lived in Los Angeles and he lived in Berkeley. They were both in graduate programs, she at UCLA and he at UC Berkeley. Eventually, he finished his program and moved to Los Angeles where he became not only a part of Sylvia’s life but a part of all of our lives, including mine and eventually, my kids.

Lamar was from Maryland, if I remember correctly. He was raised with southern ideals and manners and thinking. Lamar, before any of us knew him, was in the Peace Corps and often spoke of the things he learned and the things he did in Africa as part of his stint with the Peace Corps. After that, he went back to school and studied architecture, finally becoming an architect which was a major feat as the road to becoming an architect is a long one, but he stuck with it and did it.

He had a lot of nicknames in the family, mostly because my ex-husband’s family is into giving people silly, and often mean nicknames. For example, when his arm was in a sling because of a shoulder injury, he became Lame Arm instead of Lamar. Ha ha. But the one that stuck the most was Space Case because he would often “zone out” during conversations. We would all be discussing something and one of us would turn to ask him a question or get input from him and he was “gone” to the point where we would have to call his name several times, usually ending with “Earth to Lamar. Come in Lamar.”

He was inventive, curious, handy, a problem solver, laid back, and supportive. As spouses of a brother and sister in that family, we often were the outsiders so Lamar and I stuck together. And, more than once, we also discreetly exchanged eye rolls when “they” were being “too Martinez.” He was my pal when we were all together. Later in life, we were both diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes) and so we had that in common and shared some tips and experiences that non-diabetics would not be able to understand.

Many years later came my divorce and their move across the county so we saw each other less often. I visited with them in D.C. twice and they were at my daughter’s college graduation in Baltimore so our contact was limited but when we saw each other we slipped into the same “us” and “them” routine.

Then came word that he had cancer and was starting chemo. That was in late July. Then three weeks ago came word that the chemo was not working and that the doctors had told them there was nothing else they could do. There were no other treatments for his type of cancer. A few days ago came word that his death was imminent, he had just a few days left. This morning, word came that he had passed. The only positive thing to hold on to is that he was medicated and was never in any pain. He was comfortable. He could understand everything but could not speak. And his death was peaceful.

I’m shaking. That part of the family is too far for me to get to. I wish I could be there with them to support each other and to share some favorite Lamar moments but it’s not possible. So here I am, sharing Lamar with you; sharing my pain. And it hits a bit harder because he was diagnosed the same week that my doctor told me I had cancer and had only three to five months. Of course, he was wrong as it turned out and I do not have cancer. But Lamar did. And I keep thinking that it could be me. I’m glad it isn’t but I also feel a little bit guilty.

I will miss Lamar greatly.

 

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… One to go.

It’s after 10 at night. I’ve been here with the kids since before  two this afternoon. The baby has  fallen asleep in my arms three times but this last time she really fought it then I put her down and she fussed for about five minutes. She’s out now. Spencer has been led than cooperative but he’s down now. Anderson is the model child, at least today,  and is just about to nod off.

Me? Exhausted is too mild a word. Of  course  when their dad comes   home in another couple of hours, it will be after midnight and I haven’t worked on my nanowrimo project. I have to go finish getting the spare room ready for Maya to visit tomorrow and do laundry and load the dishwasher. By then I’ll be on my second wind and won’t be able to sleep.  In the morning I have errands and then watching the three again for most of the day.  Yup. Fat chance I’ll get any writing done. I have a suspicion I’ll have to watch them again on  Sunday. Fun.

Actually, it is fun but not so much when I’m not feeling my best and when I have stuff I want to do. And I would really like to be able to sleep in just once this session. Or read. Or relax with a glass of wine. I don’t drink when I’m the only adult responsible for the kids.

Anyway, with luck Saturday will be a shorter babysitting day. I’ll let you know.

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…my time goes:

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Just as I think I am going to start something or take a short nap, it never fails, I get a text from my daughter to go rock the baby to sleep or hold her so she can get word done. And off I go because I never learned to pronounce the most difficult word in many languages — “no.”  Sometimes I don’t eat because I am over there. Like tonight. She asked me over just after five. I was supposed to eat between six and seven. (Because my insulin lasts about four and a half hours and I have to eat shortly after that so I can take the insulin again before my blood sugar sky rockets.) I thought I would just need to rock her to sleep and then come home. When I got there, she told me that Anderson tried to do a somersault and landed on the pack ‘n play with all his weight and broke it. They use the pack ‘n play as the baby’s bed because a crib doesn’t fit in her bedroom. So she was asking in all of her free groups on Facebook if anyone had an extra one she could have or even borrow. And that also meant that when Maya fell asleep in my arms, she had to stay in my arms because her bed was broken.

She was lucky enough to find one to keep in one of the groups so off she went to pick it up and to the grocery store to get the rent money order because she’s going to be out of town until late Sunday and she can’t trust her husband to get the money order and follow through with turning it in. And all that while I was sitting on the couch with a sleeping baby in my arms.

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The baby woke up and cried and fussed because she’s working on cutting another tooth and I think she missed her mama, too. When they got back, Spencer didn’t want me to leave. He does this thing where he wraps his arms around my legs so I won’t leave and looks up at me and says “pease Nana pease, don’t go, pease.” How can I say no to that? By then it was nine and I still had not eaten or taken my insulin so I told Spencer I could stay a little longer if his mommy had food for me because I was three hours late eating and taking my medicine. Spencer got a chair and pulled it to the freezer to look for food for me! So I stayed just about another hour. I ate there then played with Spencer (no school on Fridays at Head Start so he got to stay up late) for a little bit then came home.

And I am exhausted. I am supposed to do some writing so I don’t fall behind on my NaNoWriMo project (and I will most likely fall behind this weekend because I am helping Chris out with kids while Tina is out of town) and I was supposed to write this blog post. I got that done but I don’t think I will have the energy to do any writing on my NaNoWriMo project. Maybe if I go to sleep now I will wake up early tomorrow?

Anyway, if Maya was such a cutie pie, awake or asleep, it wouldn’t be so difficult to say that unpronouncable word! Darn, just my luck to have the cutest little granddaughter!

 

 

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I was going to write a post yesterday, Saturday, but that didn’t happen. I’m a bit slow these days. Then I was going to write something early this morning but well, here it is, almost seven in the evening and I am just now getting to it. Oh well!

This is actually not about laundry. Not completely. It’s sort of a laundry list of things going on. It’s the kind of post I might write for a Weekend Coffee Share. I’m really missing those and I’ve lost some of the people that participated in those. I guess I will have to try to go back through all of my Weekend Coffee Share posts and see who commented and find their blogs because I miss them!

I’m not going to say too much about that unthinkable thing that happen in Las Vegas a week ago today but I will mention it because I think it has a lot to do with how I am feeling these days. I’m sure a lot of you have felt the oppression of a world gone crazy this week and of how our politicians in America seem to be ignoring what they shouldn’t and making hay out of what they should ignore. Incredible. But then again, it seems that the incredible is more and more the standard in this world.

I think it is time to bring out my light spectrum light bulbs because I can feel the depression of the seasonal changes coming on. It’s time. And it’s time to take my multivitamins in hopes that my energy level will improve. Time to take my muscle relaxant even if I don’t think I need it because by the time I realize I need it, it’s too late.

Laundy. It’s also time to do laundry because I was lucky yesterday and today, lucky that it was on the cool side and I didn’t have to go out of the house because all that was clean was leggings and a couple of sweaters. Tomorrow there won’t be even that so laundry must be done tonight.

Speaking of laundry, a friend of mine’s Facebook post about how she hates doing laundry reminded me of a laundry story! It happened years ago, when I was the single mom of three kids. The two older ones were in high school and middle school and had to bring their P.E. clothes home to launder each week. I was also working full time and a part time job in the evenings. There was rarely enough time to catch my breath, let alone catch up on laundry. It seems I was always running behind. This one Sunday night, about ten, I had just sat down to put my feet up for a few minutes as the girls had gotten to bed. Then my son came into the room and, with a less than respectful tone, scolded my because I hadn’t washed his P.E. clothes and he needed them for the morning. It was the scolding tone that got to me. I looked at him and told him he was old enough to do his laundry (he was about 15 or 16) and from then on I wasn’t doing his laundry anymore. If he wanted clean clothes he was going to have to wash them himself. He immediately got defensive and said he didn’t know how to do it so I told him to get his laundry and I would meet him in the washroom and would show him this one time. And I did just that. I told him what to do step by step. I didn’t do it for him. I told him what he had to do. Then I told him how to work the machine and after he turned it on, I showed him how to work the dryer. Then I went to bed in protest. I was not going to have him come in later and ask for more help.

After that, he always did his own laundry if I wasn’t doing other laundry and at times, he would say I should just get some rest and he would do all the laundry, not just his. That was when I learned that it is sometimes okay to “let your kids down” to actually help them rise up in the long run.

What’s up in your neck of the woods? Do you have any “laundry” stories? Do tell.

Leaving you with last week’s “laundry picture.”

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