Thursday, October 30, 2008

Naps Are Good

I am generally not a nap kind of girl, but the last two days, I have taken good naps. Today I slept from around 4 pm to 6 pm and could have kept right on sleeping! I am not gonna fight it, if my body needs sleep right now, then it needs sleep right now. Now to just teach the gma and mil to use the remote control by themselves....

3 going on 30

Hannah's birthday is fast approaching and she will be turning 4, however, she acts more like a teenager already. She must have gloss before leaving the house. She has to carry her purse with cell phone, gloss and sunglasses. She has more shoes than I do! The comments that have been flying out of her mouth lately are a lot of things that she obviously picks up from me, but try as I might to not laugh when she says them, I never quite pull that off!

So, some of her most recent zingers...

'what the hell are they building over there'? - This was in reference to the new Dial building on Scottsdale and 101 as we drove past to meet up with Papa at Lonsdales Cigar Bar.

'where the hell are we'? - This was said to Sean as we drove home from his bday dinner back in July.

'what the hell is that thing doing there'? - In reference to a Coca Cola Trailer outside the WalMart.

So I ask you, what the hell is going on around here?! lmao!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Are Things Really

As bad as they seem? I am talking about in relation to MIL's health issues, are things as bad as they seem? Is she just having tons of issues right now because of the move and the surgery and the combination of all these other factors? Or is she really as bad as all this...

She is having so much trouble coming up with the right words to use. She has had this trouble as long as I have known her (5 years), but it is horribly bad now. Then when she comes up with a word its still not the right word and makes absolutely no sense to those of us who are trying to figure out what she is saying. Then she will try and spell the word that she is looking for only to have the letters she puts together make no sense and most of the time they don't even spell any word, they are just random letters. I know its frustrating for her, but its so frustrating for us too because we can't figure out what she is trying to say! Communication is really so important and we are struggling with it right now. On top of the communication lacking, we are also trying to get her to understand that she doesn't get to go home. She is here for good. She argues with us that she can take care of herself and that she has friends back in Iowa who help her. We are trying to avoid talking about it with her at this point because we don't want to argue it. She doesn't remember or retain what we have said and it just frustrates all of us when she insists that she is going home soon. So we are just telling her we will see in the future how things are going and decide then. She doesn't remember doing things like putting her seatbelt on once she has done it. Its just a struggle everyday all day.

I have started 'caregiving' journals for both gramma and MIL so that if we ever get some respite care, I will have these to print out for the volunteers to be aware of issues and other things. It helps to get things out and be able to read through them and see if we can thing differently or whatever.

MIL has her first appt with her new oncologist on Friday, so hopefully we will have a better idea of what we are up against after that. We have not gotten a detailed diagnosis for this most recent cancer or a prognosis. We will also be asking the oncologist for the order for Hospice care to start that right away.

Alright, so I feel better getting some of this out...I am hoping it will be a resource for me to use to keep my sanity about me!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So Not A Walk

In the park!! We got to the park at about 1030 this morning, it was a gorgeous 80 degrees. We met up with our friends from PM, and Gramma and MIL went and sat in the shade and were chatting.

After a while, MIL and GMA got up and started walking off to a ramada area and were complaining that it was too hot and their brains were cooking. So I can't win by staying indoors with them, they complain about the inactivity. I also can't win by taking them to the park to either sit and talk or walk or whatever they want to do while Hannah plays.

So we came home and now everyone is relaxing and I am worn out. Tomorrow is the library, lets hope they won't be able to find anything to complain about at that outing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What Do You Do

With an MIL that you have not much in common with? Sean has to work the next 3 days straight and that leaves me with MIL and Gramma and Hannah. Alone. HELP!!!

I have thought about taking a trip to the library, but I want to save that for Wednesday because that is when there is a storytime. I am just at a loss. Maybe I will suggest going to the park, Hannah can play and the rest of us can enjoy some time out in the fresh air and sunshine.


Sunday, October 26, 2008


What do you do when you feel like the choices you have made have damaged your baby? How do you deal with the guilt that brings? I feel like such a bad mom because Hannah is so changed since we have moved in with gramma. We have had so much chaos and drama and all the bad things that you try to protect your child from. I have never exposed my daughter to stuff like this. Ever. People who do these things and act this way have never been welcome in my home or around my daughter. Now I have moved us in with constant drama and chaos and its taking such a toll on her. Ugh. I just feel so overwhelmed with the guilt...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

7 More

Just 7 more blogs (well 6 after this one!) to reach 100 blogs since I have started blogging early this year. My goal is to reach 100 blogs by the end of this the rate I am going, it will only take me to the end of today ;) lol!!

Hannah and The Great Pumpkin


Last weekend, I took Hannah to a PhoenixMommies Pumpkin Patch event at a local farm (tomalchoff farms), there were animals and train rides and a bounce house, face painters and balloon swords, corn mazes and fresh vegies to buy.

Lets just say that Hannah must take after me in the city girl department because the farm was not my cup o'tea or hers. She couldn't stand how 'scratchy' the hay was when I put her on it to take the picture so she wouldn't even look at me! We didn't stay very long, but we did get some nice fresh corn and a big pumpkin!

Can't Sleep

Why is it that before you get married you have no problem sleeping alone and then bam! you get married and can't sleep to save your life if your husband is not hogging the bed and snoring next to you? Just something to ponder I suppose...

Although I do get a lot more housework done when he is not here. Sean and MIL are flying home today and I have been up almost all night doing laundry (which usually doesn't get done til Sunday!!) and I am happy to say that I only have 2 more loads ot wash, and I have already folded and put away 2 loads with another going into the dryer in about 5 minutes. Yay me! (does anyone else hear London Tipton's voice when I type that??).

Friday, October 24, 2008


Ok, so as you all know by now, we have moved into my gramma's house and the previous tenants ( I use the word tenants very loosely) totally trashed the place. They didn't fix or take care of anything and just....well, trashed the place. Case in point, the mailbox. The first pic is what the mailbox looked like when we moved in. The posts are all coming un-nailed (is that even a word?) and the house numbers are falling off and missing, the mailbox itself won't even was a wreck.


Then, we got ahold of things and for about $10 and a little elbow grease, this is what it looks like now...


aahhh, can't you just feel a difference looking at the two? I mean, its unreal. It makes the whole house feel less trashy!

Stay tuned for more fix - it - up projects before and afters!

Goodwill Finds

I am not really a huge bargain shopper, I just haven't found the time to do the research and put all the time and effort into it that some other people I know have done. But, when I do find a bargain I cannot pass it up. I was at Goodwill the other day looking for halloween costumes/dressup costumes for Hannah since she is outgrowing everything these days. I decided while I was there to check out what they had for furnishings hoping I would find something really great that I could use as a prop for my photography.

Lo and behold, I found these beauties for a total of $7

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I am planning for the wooden chair sanding and painting and then sanding again to give it that distressed look. For the cube one I will probably recover it in some great (cheap) fabric or just get a bunch of great fabrics to drape over it depending on the shot I am looking for.

Yay Me!!


You know that boredom has set in when you are looking through your cell phone for people to call...just for the hell of it...when you are so not a phone person...yeah.
I have a feeling tonight is gonna be a LOOOONNGGG night. Hannah is sleeping on the air mattress that is setup in the living room from out slumber party last night and so I get to sleep on the couch. I have to be up at 7 am though because dad has a guy coming at 730am to hang a new door on MIL's room. So I am just hoping to get some sleep tonight and have tomorrow go by faster than today did.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

He's Leavin On A Jet Plane...

Sean is leaving tomorrow morning for Mt Vernon. He will be dealing with getting all the furniture off to the estate auction on Friday morning. Then hopefully shipping some boxes of her stuff on Friday.

A quick update on MIL, she was discharged from the hospital this evening and is now at her apartment with SIL.

Thank you to everyone who has been keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I really appreciate it!!

MIL Update

Ok, so they got the pathology back on the fluid they drained and it is cancerous. So, that means that she has two tumors in/on her brain. One solid mass and the cyst like one they drained yesterday. The neuro team said that it is inoperable, and has handed her case over to the oncology team. They will determine if the best course of action is chemo or radiation, but we are all aware that MIL wants no treatment whatsoever. So unless she changes her mind when she gets out here, I can not see her being alive much past Christmas.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Update

MIL is having the brain surgery tonight so SIL flew out from Montana today and will get there later tonight. Now Sean is flying out on Thursday to get her out of the hospital and fly back here with her.

Hannah is having a really hard time and therefore I am having a super hard time. I have been crying most of the afternoon. Its like once the floodgates opened, there was no going back.

So, my SIL and the kids will be spending the night with us Thursday night to have a slumber party to get mine and Hannah's minds off everything that is going on and then by Saturday afternoon Sean and MIL (Marilyn) will be back here.

Update On MIL

So, we talked to the Neurosurgeon this morning. MIL has 2 tumors. One is a solid mass the other is a fluid filled cyst like mass. They want to aspirate the fluid filled one with a GPS guided needle. They said that will hopefully relieve some of the pressure and swelling in her brain. They want to do that either tomorrow or Wednesday. Then keep her a day or two to observe her and then she will be discharged and he would prefer she fly out here as opposed to driving.

So at this point we are still looking at her getting here Saturday.

Now, we are just needing to get her care transferred probably to Barrow or Mayo but most likely Barrow since this is all linked to neuro stuff.

She is getting her hospice consult today as well so hopefully we can get her on that quickly. She doesn't want treatment of the solid mass at all, only is getting the treatment of this cyst like one to try and alleviate the pressure and some of her symptoms.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rambling ...

Ok, I am so overwhelmed. We recently moved in with my 74 year old gramma to help care for her and take care of the house. She is in early stage dementia as well as other health issues. As if that isn't enough of a full time job, my MIL is now moving here from Iowa to move in with us because she is just not able to care for herself alone anymore (she is 69). She is supposed to move out here next Saturday. Friday evening we got a call from MIL's sister telling us that MIL has been admitted to the University of IA hospital after a routine cat scan showed fluid on her brain. So my DH called the number his aunt gave him and talked to mom. Then he talked to a nurse and told her to keep us informed as he is her medical power of attorney. They called us a couple of hours later to tell us that they are doing an MRI to try and see what is causing the fluid on her brain.

Now to backtrack a bit with MIL, she has had cancer 3 times. The most recent was just over a year ago. It was a recurrence of sinus cancer that she had about 5 years ago. She had asked for our opinion on what she should do a year ago and we asked her to fight it. Do chemo for a while to see if that would take care of it because for other reasons she cannot have surgery because she would stroke out and die on the table and she has had too much radiation from previous cancers that she cannot have more. So chemo was our only option. She did chemo for several months and it showed that the tumor wasn't changing so she stopped. They did routine scans to see what the tumor was doing and for the first couple of scans it did nothing. Wasn't growing at all so they didn't do anything. So that brings us to now. They did the MRI and found that the tumor has indeed been growing since the last scan and is now putting pressure on the base of her brain and causing the fluid and swelling of the brain.

So we are at the point now of figuring out the best way to get her from Iowa to Arizona and continue her care here as she is refusing all treatment. We are hoping to get her on hospice either today or tomorrow. We have talked to her doctor yesterday and asked them to get the ball rolling to get all the paperwork started and all of that.

I guess I just need prayer right now. I know that caring for one older person with dementia and other issues is hard, but two? I must be out of my ever lovin mind. I am trying to keep it all together, but I also recognize I need to take care of me or I will be no good to anyone, most importantly my 4 year old daughter. if you could, please keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers...we sure do need it. Thanks for reading all this!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Told Ya....

See how much things are changing with me lately, its only been like 3 days since my last blog and already things are almost completely different than they were before!

The newest changes are that I retired from The Mommies Network. I decided I had way too much going on in my personal life right now to worry about climbing ladders and building a resume right now. So I am still the SA for PhoenixMommies, but I no longer hold any other positions for TMN. I feel really relieved. I was so overwhelmed, but I knew that something had to give and this was the only thing that could.

Anyway, had a Maternity shoot today ( I will be posting the pics on my other blog!) and have a family / couple/ nursing session this coming Sunday. So I will now get to spend a lot more time on my photography...hopefully!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Times Are Changing Again

So...the last time I wrote was only a couple of weeks ago, but oh so much has happened. Let's start with the least life altering...I took a new position with The Mommies Network ( to find a mommies - or dads - site in your area ;)). I am no longer and NA (network admin) I am now on the Site Salvage Team. Basically sites either succeed or fail in the first 6 months whether due to lack of commitment from the Site Admin or because she had some personal crisis and she can't follow through with building the site. So the SST comes in and takes over the site and turns it around. So, I have taken on 3 failing sites as the Interim Site Admin and its my job to turn the site around and make it successful, or deem it dead within 3 months and TMN closes it completely. I have Wichita, KS; Boise, ID; and Indianapolis, IN. Wish me luck!

Now, for the life altering MIL is moving out here in 2 weeks to live with us. Yes. This means I will now be the caregiver for my 74 year old Gramma and my 69 year old Mother In Law. Things are a bit stressful around here right now with trying to get the house ready for our new roommate, but we really feel this is in the best interest of everyone.

Anywho, in other news, I have cast my ballot already for this election coming up in November. Thank God. Now if all the political ads would just quit. I am so sick of hearing about it.

We got Hannah's costume for Halloween tonight, she will be a bunny/princess. She couldn't make up her mind and didn't want to wear the bunny costume without the princess skirt, so we are improvising and she is the Bunny Princess.

We planted the first thing in our new vegetable garden today, so excited! Our tomato plant! Will show pics in another post. We are hoping to get carrots, broccoli and a few other things planted soon in our new garden. We are also becoming more 'green' than I ever imagined I would become. We recycle, we compost, we don't use paper towels anymore, we garden to grow our own vegies...insane I know.