Monday, May 21, 2012

Talkin' 'bout my generation....

The sandwich generation as they like to call us.  Though somehow I feel as if Hubby and I have gotten it WAY too early.  Isn't this supposed to happen when your kids are in high school or college or something, not in the preschool / early elementary years?  What a crappy patch of life right now.

Father-in-law's cancer diagnosis is official now and he opted to do some mild chemo treatments.  He had his first treatment last week and became violently ill for several days.  The doctor theorizes that FIL had some sort of bug he'd been fighting and the chemo wiped his immune system and he fell prey.   The chemo shouldn't have made him that sick.  Now the plan is to give him a couple of weeks to recover, take some antibiotics and then they will try the chemo again.  Hubby, the kids, and I went up to Minnesota over the weekend and pulled the camper with us.  Hubby and various members of the family worked and got electrical hookups installed so FIL can stay at his camper this summer on his riverfront property.  We left our camper there as I plan on going back as soon as school is out for a week or longer so the kids can hang out with grandpa some.  While I'm not scared to pull the camper across the state, I'd much rather do it with Handy Hubby along in case something crazy happens.  Hubby will come up and spend some time around Father's day before we come back.  The chemo is not really supposed to force a remission, just buy some time.

Mom stayed home this weekend and did little to nothing.  Beautiful weather and she never left the house, never took a walk, went to the store.  She ate an entire package of mini-cupcakes.  I've tapped just about every resource I can in the county to get her some mental health care but the earliest I can get her in is August.  We do have an appoinment made for her in late June with a regular MD but that seems a long way away, and I don't know how aggressive the doctor will be with antidepressants.  It's very hard dealing with her utter lack of enthusism for anything and I get REALLY tired of being this bossy witch that has to literally drag her around.  I suppose I could just let her wallow in her own misery until she gets to the doctor and save myself the trouble, but I'm pretty sure she would sink even further into depression. 

I'm not quite sure how to play this anymore as the boys are even telling me I'm bossy.  Some I think they may be getting from their Grandmother, but I do feel as if I'm running my own little bootcamp somedays with a bunch green recruits that need instruction on how to do everything.  I do my best to bite my tongue about many things, but when I'm told " I would have taken out the trash and recycling but I didn't know which bin was which" I have a tendency to want to go beserk when the lid to the giant recycle bin has RECYCLABLES ONLY printed on the top.  REALLY, you can't figure out that?  There is also an element of guilt as she hasn't gotten this depressed and confused overnight.  I haven't really lived near her in 8+ years so I haven't been with her to doctor appointments and seen that she doesn't get dressed unless forced or was/is totally unable to walk around the block. 

I wish I had a sibling.

The stress may be taking a toll on Sonny Boy as well as his teacher has reported he is becoming disruptive in the classroom and his school work is suffering.  Much of the trouble stems from goofing around with another boy whom we (and his teacher) have forbidden him contact with inside the school building.  The other kid is a little spazzy like Sonny Boy and when he combines with similar the effects are explosive.  Needless to say we have grounded Sonny Boy from all electronics until school is out and I have promised him he will redo any work that is not up to snuff. 

Igor is finally starting to settle and be a little nicer - knock on wood.  He did get his nose out of joint this weekend when I was talking to his younger cousin but soon got over it.

Well it's late and I'd like a full night of sleep tonight.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beep, Bop, Ding!

I guess it all started with the washing machine we purchased a few years ago.  When it finishes a cycle it plays a little tune to let you know it's done.   Then we got  a new microwave/venthood.  The microwave beeps with every button you push and of course beeps when the time is up.  The stove does the same for the timer and oven buttons.  The real chaos started though with a new coffee pot.  I purchased the coffee pot last year at the thrift store for the camper.  Well our house coffee maker was just not working all that well so when the camper came out of storage I went and switched the two out.  The new coffee pot now beeps at the end of making a pot, and when it turns it's self off after two hours which honestly seems random.  Now we have the new dishwasher and it dings at end of it's cycle.  Add to all these dingers the silly little electronic game Sonny Boy has that has to be fed or some such nonsense at random times throughout the day and there is a virtual symphony of beeps, bongs and dings going on in the house.

I've revolted though.  I muted the buttons on the microwave.  I just figured out there is a mute button on the dishwasher and it's getting mashed too.  I wish I could do the oven, I really don't need it to beep every time I raise the temp 25 degrees, I can read the screen.  The coffee pot is soon next, but I don't know if there is such an option.  I know the washing machine has such a feature, however without the little tune I'd forget I was doing laundry and never get up to start another load.

The bad part?  The kids and I are the only ones who can hear all the beeps, and dings.  Hubby's hearing is going after so many years of airplane engines and rivet guns and I guess Mom's is age.  In the meantime I'll keep asking " What was that ding?" and waiting on a random child to tell me which appliance is letting me know it's finished.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A little gardening

Last week I remembered why I put up with Wisconsin winters, we had a couple of days of glorious spring weather, almost venturing to the hot side.  Not that we've had a hard winter this year, in fact spring plants are running 2-3 weeks early it seems.  Thursday while Mom took Igor to the petting farm I started weeding my massive flower bed.  That thing drives me to distraction.  I have seriously been threatening to pull it out and plant some grass, however Hubby is against it as it's one of the few beds we can actually see from the house and when the flowers get really rolling I have to admit it's a showpiece even when full of weeds.  So, I climbed in a weeded, and weeded, and weeded, and weeded... you get the picture.  I then moved a few plants around to better spots and tried to decide just what the heck to plant as I'm a tightwad and don't want to fill the thing up with annuals and all their fuss yearly.  Hubby has promised to help with the care of that monster this summer, but we'll see how that goes.

 Other parts of the yard are moving along well though.  After 8 springs in WI I finally have a peony that is going to have more than one blossom!  I'm so excited to see this one, I haven't the foggiest what color it is as the previous owners planted it.  Cripes I guess they planted it from seed or something it's taken so long, more likely it just doesn't get enough sun.  It's mixed in with several large species of Lilly as well so if they all open it once it might be quite a show on this corner of the house.
 A few years ago I invested in some of the "Endless Summer" Hydrangeas.  I can't say I've been over impressed with them.  The first year they got killed back to the ground after we had hard, long, late freeze after the leaves had already started budding.  Last year I think I had two blooms and they were not that spectacular.  This year look at this one already producing flowers at the first of May!  I have a larger plant with buds as well, but this one actually has color to it.  I'm anxious to see what these babies will do this year.  I'm thinking these may be more suited to a warmer climate than us, though my Mother-in-Law grows one in her yard in far northern MN.  I've read up on them and most sources say they take a long time to establish but once they do - BADABING!   I've given these plenty of time to establish, plenty of water (see the soaker hose?  It on a timer later in the summer) and lots of fertilizer.  Maybe I'm stunting them with kindness?
 A few forget-me-nots in the giant flower bed from hell.  Sweet little flowers and about the only thing blooming now in the lull between the daffodil/tulip explosion and the start up of the perennials.
 With all the vegetation and mess this giant yard produces I've always had some sort of 'compost pile' going.  Usually a big informal mess that looked more like a beaver hut than an actual compost pile.  This weekend I got enough of it and went and bought some stakes and some fencing stuff and built a real pile.  I'm sure looking at this has some composting guru shaking his/her head but I suppose it will eventually rot away.  I have plenty of the fencing stuff left and I'm thinking I might build another next to it in order to turn it into something.  I don't know, I have a lot of sticks from the lawn in there so it might take forever to turn into something actually usable.  Not pretty, but better than the man made muskrat/beaver lodge on the edge of the property.  All that lawn you see in the background is park.
Nope, didn't sneak a picture from Halloween in.  Sunday the kids were cooped in the house and not being allowed anymore TV, or Wii or other mind sucking game they were actually forced to play and be creative.  Darth Vader has grown a little there - see the exposed wrists and ankles?  The astronaut looks a little funny with the giant head.  Luckily they couldn't find any Nerf darts.

Currently, I have Mom out hitting the local stores putting in applications for cashiers/clerks that kind of thing.  I'm pretty sure she sees this as a step down in the world but when you have NO income, even minimum wage starts sounding pretty good.  I'm not sure if she can handle being on her feet for too long - she's came a long way since she got here in that arena - but I figure a week of two of misery and she'll shape up quickly.  I keep telling her this doesn't have to be a forever job, just a J.O.B. until something better comes along.  I also think she needs something that gets her out of the house and around people other than the kids and I, plus I need my space a little too!

Hubby is currently on his way home from Louisville.  Luck would have it that one of his cousins was hitting town for some training for his job and they met up last night for supper and visiting.  I know Hubby gets more than bored on these trips eating alone and such and spending time with a cousin he doesn't get to see too much of was probably really good for him.

Tomorrow FIL goes for more testing.  Hopefully, they'll be some medical miracle or screw-up there and they'll figure out some less dire diagnosis.

Best Man (mentioned in last post) contacted Hubby and his new baby is doing very well.  She's off the vent and starting to grow.  Hopefully they'll be able to bring her home sooner than later.

Well that's all the news that's fit to rattle about.

Friday, May 4, 2012

No new News

Last weekend we traveled to visit Hubby's family.  There was no new information regarding Father-in-Law's dianosis.  FIL will go the doctors next week for more testing.  FIL is good spirits but seemed to be battling a touch of a flu bug as we left town. 

On our way home a close friend of Hubby's (the best man in our wedding) called.  Hubby had called him when we were in town.  The guy travels tons for work so catching him home is very hit or miss.  Turns out his wife went to be with him out on the east coast, she was about 7-8 month pg and she started having some complications and they had to deliver the baby who weighs in at a whopping 2lb 10 oz.  Certainly not the tiniest baby ever born, but not a healthy weight either and now they are out on the coast for an undertermined length of time while all their family is here in the midwest.  I haven't had any updates on that situation in a few days.

Mom has somebody nibbling at her house. The real estate agent called today to ask about some flooring - what's under the carpet - so hopefully that will not scare them off too much.

Yesterday I sent Mom with Igor on his pre-school field trip.  They went to a "farm" really more of a petting zoo.  The weather was grand and I thought it good for Igor to hang with Grandma a little since he's a little snot to her a lot of the time.  He's been a snot to everyone lately, but with her it seems a little extreme.

With the weather change this week operation "Mom Walk" has begun.  Tuesday, we wondered through the neighborhood, up and down the hills to the tune of .8 miles (I later went back and clocked it).  Wed we took the long route to the elementary school to pick up Sonny Boy, Yesterday she had a fair amount of walking at the "farm" and today was likely a full mile as we walked down to Igor's preschool to pick him up.  I can't say I see a huge jump in stamina yet, certainly better than when she first arrived and we wouldn't get 100 yards from the house but the walking push has yet to show dividends.  Doesn't help that the four days we were gone to the in-laws she didn't even leave the house or try to excercise at all. 

Hubby is in Louisville KY for the weekend working standby for all the hoity toity people who are flying in on their private jets for the derby.  He said many of the women are already all dressed up in the hats and the like as they come through the private jet terminal.  He reports that the really rich people are not even coming through the terminal though, just hopping in a limo out on the tarmac.  Must be nice.  Hubby had volunteered for this gig several weeks ago as I had always said I wanted to go.  Then we checked ticket prices. OMG!  To stand on a muddy infield was 40+ a head and parking was well over 100.  To actually sit the tickets were in the 300 range and went sky high from there.  Needless to say I'm home with the boys and Hubby and I will both be watching the derby from a T.V. - him in bar or hotel room and me in the Living Room.

Well must cut this short, time to go get Sonny Boy from school.  Excuse the bad grammar etc as I'm not even going to proof this.