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Posts Tagged ‘family’

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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That’s where it came from.

I was in bed a little while ago. The grandkids are spending the night and the two boys always want to sleep in my bed and I have to be in the bed with them or they get upset. So I am in the bed not sleeping. I’m in pain but I can’t take the pain pills because they make me zonk out and I can’t do that with the kids here. The little one is not quite nine months old and might wake up because she’s in a strange bed although she normally sleeps through the night. The four year old wakes up and wants to go outside. He actually gets the step ladder and unlocks the chain and goes outside. Even if it’s dark and rainy. And I don’t hear him even when I am not on pain pills so I’m sure I would not hear him on pain pills. So no pain pills. And I have to sleep on my right side to avoid some of the pain but I can’t because of the position of the boys.

So I am in bed, awake. And that’s when it happened.

A memory. It was 1990. An almost forgotten memory and one that I have surely put out of my head for self preservation. But it came back. And it made me cry. I had to get up and leave the room because I was afraid the boys would wake up with my crying. It all came back. I was on the freeway, the 101 southbound, in my car with the kids who were 10, 7, and 2. My kids. My husband had left home six weeks prior to that day because he needed a break and wasn’t sure he wanted to be married anymore. I had gone up north to see my sister and so that the kids could visit with their cousins and so that we wouldn’t be home alone thinking and missing him. We were on our way home. Then a car was passing us and out of the corner of my eye I realized it looked like his car. Then I looked and realized it was. He was driving it but he wasn’t alone. And I didn’t know who the woman with him was. When he saw that it was me and that I had seen him, he floored the gas pedal.

That’s how I found out that my “soul mate” was cheating on me.

And that’s what came flooding back a little while ago. And now for sure I won’t sleep. It will be a long night.

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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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Maya is eight months old and has two big brothers. Anderson is seven and Spencer is four. So when I am talking to her or singing to her, I tell Maya that Spencer is the Little Big Brother and Anderson is the Big Big Brother. They both love their little sister and they try to help with her. Anderson was afraid of her at first and not really bonding with her but once she started to smile and make eye contact and giggle and laugh, at around five months, he came around and loves her. Spencer has loved her bonded right from the start.

Last night, I was babysitting all three of them while their dad worked and their mom made an appearance at a Halloween costume party. The boys were pretty hyper but Maya was fine. She watched them running and jumping and was enjoying it. Then when I got them to calm down and Anderson fell asleep, Maya became over tired and restless and in pain from teething.  She has her two front teeth and is working on a third so she was very uncomfortable. After a couple of hours of not wanting to be in arms, in her swing, in her bouncer, or anywhere else because of her discomfort, as I sang to her I said something about how her teeth were bothering her. I make up songs as I go along and just throw in a whole lot of nonsense so this song was about how she should go to sleep and how I wished I could do something for her pain.

Spencer had taken a long nap in the late afternoon so he was still awake and he heard me. He got up and went into the kitchen and dragging a chair from the dining room. He’s a climber so I was afraid he’d hurt himself and called from the other room asking what he was doing. He answered that he was getting something for Maya. I walked around the corner to check on him and he was on top of the counter getting a box down. I noticed it was the box that his mom and dad keep over the counter medicines. With the crying baby in my arms, I went over and asked him to put it away. He said, “Just a minute. I’m finding something for Maya’s teeth. Mommy has medicine for her in here.” He kept picking up boxes and looking at the labels as if he knew how to read then putting it back when it wasn’t what he wanted. In the end, he didn’t find the right thing so we put the box back and went back to the living room.

It made my heart melt that he wanted to help his sister and knew there was something there that we could use to help and that he decided to take matters into his own hands to find something. He’s a good little big brother!

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Yesterday I wrote about a laundry lesson and my son. That reminded me of another lesson with my son. I went through old posts because I was sure I had written about it previously but I didn’t find it. Of course, maybe I just didn’t look well enough but in any case, I’m writing it up for you today.

In eighth grade, Tony developed a habit of sleeping in late in the mornings. On school mornings. He would stay up way too late and although I kept after him to go to bed, I was not going to put either of us through a routine of standing there until he got in bed and shut off the lights. I gave him more credit than that and trusted him to finish what he was doing and go to bed. If he woke up too late he would end up being late to school. I would not let him stay home just because he had stayed up too late. However, because he would get in trouble, I did call the school and say he hadn’t felt well that morning and had missed first period but I would get him there by second period. Then it happened again. And again.

By the fourth time, I told him the night before that if he didn’t get up in time for school, I was not going to lie for him. I guess he didn’t believe me because he overslept again. And true to my warning, I refused to call in or write him a note. I just took him and dropped him off, waiting at the curb until he walked in the door. That afternoon he was mad at me. He said that all because of me he was going to have to have a week of lunch time detention. I reminded him that it wasn’t because of me. It was because he couldn’t go to bed on time or get up on time. He mumbled something and went in his room.

It turns out that lunch detention was held in one of the classrooms. The kids would take their lunch in there and they had five minutes to eat. No talking. Just eating. Then when they were finished eating, they had to sit perfectly straight, facing forward, with their hands folded in front of them for the rest of the lunch period. He said it was beyond boring. I almost felt bad for him. Almost. But I was trying to teach him to be more responsible. I was afraid he might not learn and we would have to do it all over again.

It seemed to have worked because he didn’t over sleep again. Not for school.

Then, about two or more months later, he said one day, “Mom you know when you made me go to school and tell them I had over slept and I had lunch detention for a week? Well, I hated it at the time and I was mad at you but now I realize that it was the best thing you could have done for me.”

Lesson learned. For both of us.

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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.”

20171005_161237

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