Latest Adventure

Last week my husband and I took a nice trip to Washington DC to see the sights and spend some time with my mother’s side of the family.

When we found out my husband had a two day Audiology conference in DC we thought why not and decided to make it a week long vacay. Tom has never been and I haven’t been since I was in high school. So we packed a suitcase, sent the fur babies off to grandma and grandpas, and set off. The trip was even more fun (or stressful, depening on how you look at it) because my sister and parents decided to join in the fun.

We spent the first 3 days of our trip exploring they many sights. We went to multiple museums, visited the memorials, got a private tour of the capital, and saw The Changing of the Guard at Arlington Cemetery.  We also ate at some well known restaurants including Momofuko, Old Ebbitt Grill, The Tombs, and The Hamilton. On our last night in the city my husband, sister and I went to Georgetown to check out the exorcist step and house that were in the movie The Exorcist released in 1973. We also ate in The Tombs restaurant/bar which also appeared in the movie.

For the last few days of our visit we went to Huntingtown Maryland and stayed with my cousins. We spent the time relaxing, eating crabs, smoking ribs, and watching movies.

All in all it was a great trip and I look forward to going back again soon. Here are some pics from the trip:

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We Survived Christmas (Kind Of)

My husband and I were pretty much completely crazy when we decided to host Christmas this year.

That’s right, my parents, sister, granny, and her grumpy husband made their way to Crystal Lake to engage in all the Christmas merriment. I mean nothing was bound to go wrong, right? Put a bunch of people, who don’t normally get along, in a house together for a week. Then throw in some alcohol and boom, all unresolved issues from the past quickly make an appearance. (What isn’t fun about that)?

The fun filled week started with my grandmother arriving and not having a hotel reservation. Basically she ignored the number I sent her for the hotel right next to my house and looked up a Holiday Inn. However, since she is not familiar with the area we think she made the reservation at some hotel in the middle of Indiana. (Yep, you heard that correctly). What followed was a afternoon adventure to 4 different hotels where she tried to find her reservation and then ended at the hotel I originally gave her where she finally booked a room. After the whole hotel room shuffle we came back to my house to relax and while unloading the car my grandma’s husband decided to pee in my back yard. (Apparently our restroom isn’t adequate).

The next day my parents and sister arrived with a car full of stuff my mother unloaded on us and their two dogs. After being in the car for 8 hours you can imagine that everyone, including the dogs, were in a fantastic mood. The first thing my mother dog did was come up to our bedroom and pee on the floor. What a welcome indeed!

Despite all the bickering and various puppy puddles around the house. Christmas was very nice. On Christmas Eve my sister smoked 4 chickens and served them with homemade mac and cheese, salad, asparagus, carrots, and jalapeno corn bread muffins. (Hello food coma)! After opening presents we went to Tom’s parent’s house for Christmas dinner and a night full of board games.

All and all it was a great Christmas. Well, until I ended up in the ER with pneumonia, bronchitis, and high blood pressure the next day…. but I will save that for my next post.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and happy 2017! This is going to be a great year!

L

Eye Opener

Disclaimer: Uncharacteristic Serious Post 

Yesterday I put my father on a plane back home to Kansas City. I walked him to his terminal, bought him a burger and fries for lunch, and waited with him until it was time to board. As we said our goodbyes, while I knew things would be much less stressful at home, I was sad to see him go.

I have mentioned this in a previous post, but for those who don’t know my father has early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It is in the very early stages, he still knows who we all are, and he can still take care of he basic daily needs, but there are many things he is no longer able to do. He can no longer drive himself, he has extreme difficulty reading, he can’t cook like he used to, and he is much slower than he used to be. His short term memory is pretty much nonexistent, he asks the same question over and over again, and he has picked up some habits that he never had before. But thankfully he is still the same dad I have always loved.

Since he lives at home with my mom and sister I decided that I would take him back to Chicago with me after my latest trip to KC. My sister and mom needed some time to relax and get things done around the house so I thought he would enjoy a few weeks with my husband and I. While I knew he had some difficulties and could tell his memory was getting worse, from our regular phone calls, it wasn’t really until he was living with us for a few weeks that I realized how much worse he really is. I think part of me never really accepted the Alzheimer’s diagnosis and just kept the facade that everything was still perfectly fine. As I said before he isn’t completely helpless, but he does need help with a lot of things.

First off, I am going to say that caregivers are fucking SAINTS. I was only with my dad a few weeks and I was completely exhausted. Before work each morning I had to make sure he ate and took his medicine and then make sure his lunch was made so that all he had to do was heat it up in the microwave. I can’t even count the number of conversations we had about how our Keurig works. He really wanted to work it, he just couldn’t get there. Luckily I work from home a couple days a week so I only had to worry a few days that he was alright at home while I was gone. Totally nerve wracking. At least he had our two dogs to keep him company and I think they enjoyed his daily naps as much as he did.

Since he doesn’t get to do too much back at home, we tried to show him a good time. We went out to eat a few times, he hung out with my father-in-law, whom he really enjoyed, and we even had a cookout with some of our friends.

While we had a good time, I am ashamed to say that at times I was extremely annoyed. I knew he couldn’t help it, but at night after working all day sometimes I just couldn’t hear the same question over and over. Thankfully I have a loving husband who was there to help me.

The scary thing for me is that unfortunately, he is going to get worse. I know this and I am terrified to death. Right now he still knows who I am, but there will come a day when he won’t and that is something I can’t even deal with right now. I never thought that I would be taking care of my parents, parents are suppose to take care of you. However, this is where we are at and it is something I will gladly do.

 

 

Christmas Past

Christmas is over once again, which means that many of us begrudgingly made our way back to work this morning; peeling ourselves out of our nice warm beds still reeling from all the holiday merriment. Myself I was completely exhausted, having spent a week with my family and getting back to Chicago late on Sunday night. In retrospect I should have cut all that family bonding time a day short and come back on Saturday so I could have at least one day to recover. (Next year I think I’m just going to head some place tropical…)

But in all seriousness I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and is ready to welcome a new year! (I still can’t believe that it is going to be 2015). And the good news is that in another couple of days we get another day off from work to nurse that New Year’s Eve hangover that always so pleasant. I fully intend to spend the day holed up in my apartment, binge watching bad television, and eating super unhealthy food. (What else is New Years day for?) This is of course right before my New Years resolutions to eat healthier and get in better shape set in.

Speaking of what are everyone else’s New Years resolutions? I haven’t really sat down to think of mine yet, but I know I won’t be the usual “lose weight and get in shape” that most people choose.

Side note: This time of year is hell at the gym because everyone tries to start of the year sticking to their resolutions, taking over everything for a few weeks before they finally give up. So frustrating! I am all for people wanting to be healthier, but learn some gym etiquette or just work out at home. I don’t want to go into a yoga class and deal with rudeness. 

I’m going to take a little time to think about what my resolutions will be and then I will be back to share!