Archive for September, 2011

September 19, 2011

I’m losing the battle with television….

Look I like TV. I grew up on TV. I’m not someone who thinks TV is the devil. BUT I don’t want it on all the time. I don’t want my kids to wake up and immediately start figuring out what show they want to watch. I don’t want them to ask to watch TV instead of going outside and running around. So I’m going to attempt to wean us all from the TV and video games and iPhone games which my 4 year old is now addicted to. How I am going to do this is beyond me. I’m going to start planning A LOT of activities and projects and prepare to be mentally exhausted. Keeping up with the energy levels of a 2 and 4 year old is not easy!

So here are a couple of recent projects which occupied their attention for about an hour tops.

First we made terrariums. I loved these as a kid. Found a cool tutorial online at Craftzine.

Alonzo thought making a dino forest was pretty cool. Clara loved dumping the pebbles and potting soil all over the table.

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September 16, 2011

I brush teeth

I was going to write a post sometime back titled “I wipe butts” but I brush teeth is so much nicer dontcha think?

And when I write this I’m not talking about my own, teeth that is, although I do brush those too. No, I mean every day I pry my little ones mouths open to insert the tooth brush for a minute of screaming. Cleaning “the sugar bugs” out is a good ploy. Then later in the evening I brush my mom’s teeth. She is thankfully less resistant to brushing but never manages to rinse properly. She usually swallows the water. Oh well, perfect teeth for her are the least of my goals.

September 14, 2011

I ate lunch under a table

With these nuts! In my never ending quest to keep my kids occupied without TV we’ve been getting creative! Yesterday we built a hideout under the dining room table with sheets and pillows, and had a picnic lunch in there! After Clara went down for a nap Alonzo and I built a racetrack in the kitchen using some colored tape. Then we added some ramps made from books to launch the cars off of.

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September 10, 2011

I can’t believe it has been 10 years…

10 years ago today was the hardest day of my life. I lived and worked in New York City and sent the email below to friends and family on Sept. 12 with my account of the day.

The photo above was taken by my co-worker Nick as we watched the chaos from our office.

If you are interested in my email read it here:

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September 8, 2011

I had dinner with two angels last night

at Sunrise with my mom. Later I had dinner with MY little angels at home.

I go to Sunrise 5 nights a week to help feed my mom. She can sometimes eat on her own but needs constant direction and prodding. Usually I just feed her myself. It’s always a battle but eventually she eats. Normally we sit alone, she usually yells at me and has trouble focusing so sitting at our own table is the best solution. But last night our usual table had been moved so we sat at another empty table. I hoped no one else would join us but a few minutes later two other residents were escorted over. They happened to be two of my favorites, Marlene and Jerry, so I breathed a small sigh of relief. My mom was on a tear though, “You idiot!”, “NO! What are you doing?!” peppered with the usual, “Bu bu bu ba ba” and a quite a few screams and frowns. All this coming from the kindest woman I have ever known. Anyway, I’m used to it. I tried to politely have a conversation with Marlene and Jerry throughout this banter and I can only say it was, well, a challenge at best. They put up with us though, and it was actually nice to have some company at the table.

The great thing about assisted living is that it makes you realize you are not alone. My family and I struggled for years with the stigma and difficulty of dementia. We corrected my mom, we glossed over her outbursts, we laughed off her mistakes. But eventually when things progress you feel so alone, like no one around you can possibly understand unless they spend a good 5 hours with someone that has no idea what is going on around them, someone constantly at odds with her own mind. Sunrise has changed all that. I look around me there and I see wonderful people, struggling with the same problems at my mom. People with their own stories, with rich histories, successes and failures, marriages, kids, and families who love them too. I don’t feel alone anymore.

Marlene told me last night she used to be a handwriting analyst and Jerry a real estate developer (their condition has not progressed as far as my mom’s). They each took turns trying to calm my mom down and reminded her how much I must love her to come everyday to see her. It was refreshing to have a  couple of cheerleaders on my team.

September 4, 2011

I’m channeling my grandmother’s spirit….

I’m learning to sew!

Grandma Rafi was a seamstress, among her many self-described talents, and I have been telling everyone I wanted to learn how to sew FOREVER! Well, I finally sat down and started this summer when I inherited my grandmother’s Pfaff sewing machine and had the guidance of my mother-in-law who was visiting. I’m on my fourth project so far and I must say I’m enjoying every minute of it. Once I sat down and started operating the machine memories flooded back to me…sitting beside my grandmother as she sewed me a dress, trying to stand still as she had me try on half sewn pieces (those pins hurt if you move too quickly!), and my favorite, her tugging at my waist, shoulders, chest, or ahem crotch (Grandma!)…to make the piece fit right….

Anyway I thought I didn’t know how to sew, was considering a class, but once I got my hands on the tools I felt really at ease. Maybe grandma’s Rafi’s spirit is being channeled into my hands through her sewing machine. Maybe its a reminder of simpler times or maybe the beginning of a lifelong hobby…I’ll keep you posted.