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Monday, October 18

Request for more

It is amazing how many times in the past week I have been asked to blog more.  What a compliment to know that some of you out there actually look forward to my blog-honestly I did not think I was that interesting.  I was surprised that my brother checks daily, but even more surprised to hear that others are as well.  I look at my life and laugh at the craziness often wondering if other people's lives are like this. How many of you are laughing with me as you read my words-is it really entertaining and encouraging?  How many of you have a life that leaves you breathless, and keeps  your mind turning like the gears of a clock.  There are nights when I try to slow those gears down just so  I can actually process what is going on in my life.  Then I realize that if I do try, I might get jammed and completely stop.  What are the gears in my life that keep me spinning (thanks Dad for fixing that grandmother clock-I am now comparing my life and thought processes to all those parts). 

Well today I promised my mother that I would go up there to do movie night with her and my daughter.  Mackenzie was extremely tired and not in the best mode for movie night.  My mom was up until at least 5:50 this morning (we know this because my dad woke up at 7 and the movie she put in was still playing).  She was in a nasty mood and very very tired. She made little sense and had difficulty understanding what I was telling her.  A new thing she is doing is misusing items.  I am reminded of the little mermaid when she used the fork as a comb.  At lunch she tried to eat with her glasses rather than the fork. 
Movie night did not go over well because Mackenzie was not interested in watching the movie and mom kept falling asleep.  My mother got rather upset with me because Kenzie wanted ice tea like hers.  I poured some in a cup and Kenzie got upset because it was not as full as Gigi's. I told her that she could not have as much since she was smaller.  My mother got upset with me since I would not give more to Kenzie.  I tried to explain to both of them that it was not good for her to have more especially this late in the day and given our issues with all the testing and stomach problems. Kenzie understood but my mother got so angry with me.  I could not get her to see what I was saying.  To her, I was being mean to Kenzie and to her.  Tomorrow we start the Risperdone-Kevin will give her a dose at 12 and although I hate the thought of her being on it again, I know that it is time.  It is hard because the other day the light was there and we had so much fun.  The night I dyed her hair was the first time in a long time that she was enjoyable and had some life in her eyes.  I know once we do the Risperdone, that little bit of light will go away and she will be a zombie.  However, if it is easier for Kevin and my dad, then it is essential for us to do it.  We shall see how long she stays on it or if she tries to get off it.  The best part is we now have it in liquid form so we can continue it if we need to. So that is the most difficult gear in my life that is constantly being reworked and tweaked to keep running. 

Then we have the children-both now with positive stool samples for fat meaning they are not absorbing fat.  Connor is also slightly anemic and other malabsorption issues.  Tomorrow we go for his endoscopy and biopsy.  I cannot help but wonder what they will want to do for Kenzie once the Doctor sees the results of her stool sample.  I hope we do not have to do an endoscopy on her as well. The possibility of having to change our diet so drastically is slightly daunting but seeing my children actually thrive will be so fantastic.  Getting rid of the label failure to thrive one day will make me jump up and down like a giddy cheerleader.  So there is Gear two and three.

It seems that when my children are requiring such attention, everyone else does to.  My "adopted" girl has been quite a bit of work lately.  Daily visits to the school to discuss her failing grades, set up a plan to get the work completed, monitor her to complete the work, bring up aspirin because of a tooth ache, and visiting with her family to keep a relationship growing for trust (so I can be a part of Gloria's life) is becoming a very difficult task.  I cannot give up on her now. 
 Then my other "lost" children.  It is becoming part of our every day life that one or more come to our house to visit, eat, unwind, get advise, cry to, talk to, request a ride to somewhere, or some other task.  As one puts it "your house is a home, we feel so welcomed and have a place to relax and have a mother".  Really....sometimes I do not want to be welcoming, I want to yell and say go away I need peace.  But I look at their face searching for answers and for stability and realize I do not have that luxury so with open arms and a forced smile I say come on it.  Gears number 4-12

Then there is my grandmother and our newly "adopted grandmother" and you thought it stopped with only adopting children.  I feel sometimes as though I should do more for my grandmother  but realize that she does have others to help her out.  Our newly adopted one has no one.  As our relationship grows, so does the time requirements.  She now calls daily, sometimes two or three times a day.  I take her to the doctors, get her records, give her advice, lend an ear, and other misc. things.  Gears 13 and 14.
Gear 15 is my schooling which in a few months will be removed from my clock. Gear 16 is our non-profit which you can read about in our wif blog.  The last gears are the gears for My life-my husband and my Lord both of whom I gather support and give me the strength to face each day.  I am blessed with a husband that loves the Lord and loves his family.  While we may argue or bicker, I know that I have a partner that will stick by me through thick and thin.  I know he will support my decisions and help carry the burden.  He is my source of inspiration and each day I am amazed at what I learn from him.  I am also blessed with the love of my Lord and Savior.  I do not understand how people can go through life without having God in their life.  The peace that He provides carries me through the difficult parts of life and refreshes me on the worst days.  I am grateful for the grace and love He gives me.  

By the way, you may wonder why I constantly change the theme of the blog.  Until I find the one that feels right, I will try a million of them.  Feel free to offer suggestions as I am on a quest to find the right one :). It is just like in my house.  I arrange and rearrange the furniture (much to my husband's dislike)  until I find the perfect fit. 

Saturday, October 16

Results are in

What another fun filled week where I felt like I could not catch up to myself.  Monday I had to bring the children in for a sweat test to check for cystic fibrosis.  Luckily, I go the results today and it was negative.  The other tests came back and both children now test positive for fecal fat meaning that they are not absorbing fat-surprise surprise.  I mean who would think that a 4 year old weighing 28 lbs and a 2 year old weighing 22 lbs with absolutely no fat on their bodies does not absorb any fat? :) Connor goes in for an endoscopy and biopsy on Monday and we will hopefully have more answers in the next few weeks. After the long drive on Monday, I came home and went right to my mothers.  Long night and little rest.  Tuesday another busy day with multiple children coming to my home.  This house has officially become a refuge for over 9 children and while I realize that they need us, sometimes it is exhausting.  I drove two around looking for jobs and gathering items.  Wednesday I drove Mrs Fischer to the doctors then drove up to the middle school or our dear Gloria.  I met with her teachers and developed a plan. Children came over and I felt like a revolving door.  Yesterday I helped a woman sort out items that she has had donated and was able to get some things for the two teen soon to be mothers.  And then today-the day that beat all days.  Wake up, drop Gloria off at school, drop Kenzie off at school, visit grandma and cook breakfast for her, phone call from middle school for Gloria, get home change Connor go get kenzie, get medical records for kenzie, get home visit with my brother and his friend, go home and two teens show up. gather them up to go get Gloria, meet with her teachers, bring everyone back to my house.  Two more teens show up -one pregnant and the other needing community service.  So now I have five teens, two little ones, and two adults.  Two leave, another shows up to get some items from me.  Another comes later to drop off some stuff.  Luckily my brother was a dear and decided to cook dinner.  Even more amazing is that there was plenty to feed everyone.  So we all sit down to eat, Gloria, my two children, my hubby, my brother, his wonderful friend, Kayla, and Stephen.  We finally get dinner served and eaten and off everyone goes.  Many phone calls from my "lost children" and I am off to my mothers.  Seriously my head is spinning and I do not have a moment to think.  What is strange is that this is becoming the norm.  We are up to 9 children/teens coming to our house and it just seems to grow.  I do not understand how they find us-the two today rode their bikes over 8 miles to come spend time with us.  How do you turn them away? So many of them come from dysfunctional families and are in need of so much guidance and resources.  It breaks my heart that I cannot take them places and buy them necessities.  One has no shoes literally cannot go anywhere because of the lack of shoes.  Another one has no money for basic needs.  The list of heartwretching stories is maddening.  This one kicked out, that one out of school, another on probation.  I did learn one thing today-multitasking and managing.  My house was spotless after they all left.  I put one in charge of the children, one in charge of dusting, another the mirrors and tv screens.  Before I knew it, all the laundry was done, the house was clean, and the children were all pleased with themselves.  I really need some prayers on this because selfishly I want my own house with just my children and time alone.  I realize that it is not the way God wants it because he keeps bringing them to us.  I may be losing two because I refuse to help those that are not willing to help themselves. I have had "the talk" with them and told them that if I do not see effort soon, I will help no more.  They can come but I will not take them places, buy them necessities, or other things I do when they do not do for themselves.

I realize that what initially started as a blog for my mother has now become much more than that.  I am sorry but more and more has changed. Anyway, tonight went well with my mother-she was calm and docile.  She hates what is happening to her and realizes just how far she is slipping.  She wants to be normal and have her life back.  It is very late right now and I have a very busy busy day tomorrow so I must go and write more later.  Night Night. 
Remember to say some praises for the wonderful news about the children.  Also pray that we get some answers with what is causing the malabsorption.

Thursday, October 7

ARGGGGGGGGGGG

What a night-maybe it is because I do not feel well or the two huge projects I have looming over my head or maybe it is because of the deteriorating status of my mother.  Whatever it is, I am feeling such sadness for my Dad.  Let me vent and then I will touch upon why I feel so bad for my father.  Today after three days of my mother disliking me for whatever reason, she is my friend again and needs me to come over to check her eye.  I decide to head up there early so that I can get home early so that I can finish my work for school.  I have a mid term exam that will take quite a bit of time to write, analyze, and include a PowerPoint.  On top of that, I have another observatory report for the other class.  Well that did not go according to my plan.  I did not get up there early and I did not get out early.  When I got there, my mother was a disorganized mess.  She was half naked and trying to figure out what clothing she needed me to wash. 
 She ends up taking off all her clothes and adds it to the pile I had gathered.  I gather the clothes and bedding and off to do some wash.  She then sits on the bed and asks me to look in her eye.  I remind her about getting dressed by asking her what danties she would like to put on.  She picks a pair and decides to go get some ice tea.  She comes back and asks me to do her eye.  I remind her about her danties and she lets me put them on her.  I get her a house dress to put on.  From there it was a constant barrage of questions and trying to figure out what she wanted or what she was trying to tell me.  She asks me to read the Bible before I leave so I make a quick mental note.  She wanted to call her friend and we did so.  She stayed on the phone for about twenty minutes which gave me a bit of time with my father.  Man, the one thing I miss most is spending time alone with my father or brother.  We are all so busy taking care of Mom that none of us get to be with just each other.  We have to spend all our time with her.  

But I digress. She gets off the phone and she wants to go out to eat with her friend.  What she does not know is that her friend is too afraid to take her out.  I tell my mom that her friend does not like to eat out anymore because of the noise so she would like to bring the food to her house. Mom thinks that is a great idea and asks me to call her back.  Then she freaks out because her dog will bark non stop while her friend is there.  She has a melt down trying to figure out what to do.  I suggest to both my mom and her friend to have dinner at her friends house.  That solves that problem.  My mom mentions that she can no longer answer the phone.  I reprogram her phone to answer as soon as it is lifted from the base.  I decide to have her test it out and this broke my heart.  As the phone rings, she yells at it and tells it to talk.  Finally she picks it up and tells me it is not working it is not working.  She is looking at the phone and I tell her she has to put it to her ear.  She puts her hand on her ear and tries to talk.  Again she tells me it is not working.  I try to get the phone up to her ear and she is completely confused.  She puts the phone down and tries to talk to my ear.  Yikes.  During this time, I have to cough and I know it is only a matter of time before my mother notices it.  She does and you will love this excuse.  Mom I am coughing because I went to a football game and injured my vocal cords by cheering (I hate football and my mom used to know that).  She does not even question it. 

After the phone we go back to her room and she wants to show me how she puts movies in her closet.  The only problem is she needs to use a step stool to see them up on her shelf.  It is a rather scary thing to witness as she attempts to step up.  I go to the garage and grab a cardboard display case and put it on the floor of the closet.  She loves it but now we have to organize the closet.  She has me move all the shirts to one side-nah do not like it.  She has me move the pants to one side-nope hate it (each time she starts freaking out because it is not right).  I move everything back and just push the clothing aside and now she is happy.  She decides that she wants to go through her shoes because she does not like them all.  We go through all her shoes which is a very good thing since some have rather high heels.  First load of wash is complete and I remake her bed.  She starts complaining how she wants her home video's.  I show her the videos that I made a year ago and she wants to see them. We start watching movie after movie to find ones of her mom.  We find one with her old dog Middy and she starts to cry.  Then her mom comes on the screen and she gets even sadder.  I distract her and turn off the movie.  By this time, the clothes are finished and I go to get them.  She gets changed which takes over 15 minutes now and it is 9:45.  She starts freaking out about her socks not being washed until she realized that they were washed.  10:00 and we start the movie.  Throughout the entire movie, she rambles and cannot focus at all.  She gets agitated that my dad is still up at 11:00.  The movie finishes and I am about to leave. As I am about to enter my car. 

She reminds me that we did not read the Bible.  Tell me anyone how is this possible.  How can she remember to read the Bible but not remember how to answer a phone. It is like her processing memory is shot but her ability to remember important details (those that are important to her) is still there.  We read the Bible and I head home.  She asked me to call her when I got home which is ironic because she does not know how to answer the phone.  I call anyway and she does not answer.  She figures out how to call me back and is upset because the light is red on the phone.  In my trial and error period with programing the phone, I forgot to delete the message.  It is 12:45 in the morning and I cannot possibly drive back up there.  I am way too tired and feeling sick (hacking up a lung at this point) to go up there just for a red light.  I tell her to let me wake up dad to let him fix it because I cannot do it from here.  She agrees and I wake my poor Dad up.  He gets up to go help and I will try to describe what ensues as clearly as I can.  She starts screaming GET OUT GET OUT NOOOOOOOOO AHHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAA HELP ME GET OUTNOOOOOO.
 Then what follows is similar to the scream in that movie splash where the mermaid breaks every t.v.  It was so deafening and so high pitched I cannot believe nothing blew.  She just starts screaming and screaming.  At one point Dad tries to explain and has to raise his voice to be heard which I yell back Dad, she cannot hear you-Stop trying to explain to her. I am frazzled and I am not even in the same room as he is.   I call mom and try to calm her down but only end up making her very mad at me.  I try to tell her that I did not want to have to go up there and she was ok with him. She replies with he is the Devil he is evil and a liar and I HATE HIM I HATE HIM I HATE HIM AND WISH I NEVER MARRIED HIM HE IS EVIL AND MEAN AND YELLS.  At this point I know I should say good night but I never learn. I said he was trying to help you and fix it and you freaked on him. This is why your throat is so sore-you cannot yell like that and not hurt yourself.  Can anyone guess what happened next.  A)  My mom agrees and says oh good you solved my problem about the sore throat
B).  My mom screams "You are not a Christian and you think you are nice and kind but you are a bit** and a thing, You pretend to be nice but you just want people to think you are so good and so helpful but you are evil instead and a horrible horrible girl
C)  My mom realizes she was mean to my dad and goes apologizes to him.  If you guess B, you are correct!  She hangs up the phone and then calls me back to say she fixed the phone (what seriously she cannot answer the phone but figured out which buttons to push to play the message and delete it) I congratulate her and think this is the end and I can unwind before bed.  Some how and I am too tired to rethink what was said but somehow, I anger her again and she starts screaming and yelling at me once again.  ARGGGGGGGGGG.

What I realized today is that no matter how much Kevin or I do for my mother or how hard we have it with her, at the end of the day we can leave.  With my Dad, no such luck.  He cannot escape.  Once home, the jail bars go down and he is in his cell until the sun comes up.  I must admit there have been times when I thought well Dad does not realize how hard we have it with mom and that we equally share his burden or sometimes have more of a burden in caring for her.  I bath her, Kevin is with her all day Monday-Thursday I have her for ten hours Tuesday or Wednesday nights and Friday nights and sometimes take her to my house to give Dad time in his house.  We all share Doctor and feeding duties and now with Kevin's sweet ride, he can do more of the outings. Dad is free from her until 5 or 6 at night Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and full time Saturday and Sunday.  But here is what I finally realized.  Despite the fact that he may have plenty time away from her, he is a prisoner in his home with a crazy deranged lunatic for a cell mate. 

I do not know how he actually can have a sound nights sleep, I would be terrified that one night I would awaken to her standing over me with this evil grin cackling an insane laugh while lightening flashed in the background and the deafening sound of thunder clapped around me.  He can never just relax-there is always a fear of what might set her off or what task will he be awoken for during the night.  Even worse is the fact that despite all he does, he will always be unappreciated by her and insulted beyond belief.  As he cooks her dinner, she may spit in it or throw it.  As he fixes a broken light, she will scream at him and call him a Fu**ing Bast***, or shout you did it on purpose you are evil and mean I hate you I hate you. There is no more thank you no I love you no hug or kiss no affection of any type.  Only bitter angry malicious spiteful words aimed directly at him.  And while my life, in my opinion, is much more demanding, I have two precious smiling children that do say thank you and I love you.  I may get less sleep, but I have a husband that I can bounce things off
of.  My dad has the insane ravings of a Alzheimer's woman that has eaten away at my mothers personality leaving only the negative miserable person and removing all traces of the sweetness and humorous person she once was.  In fact, as I looked at the home videos with my mother she actually asked me who my mom was in the video.  She did not recognize herself.  It was hard to watch those movies because I heard her laughter and beautiful voice and then look over and see this emaciated hollow woman with a permanent scowl on her face. I just want to reach over and hold her and kiss her but know that if I do she will scream and cry at the touch of me. 
And I will end with this.  It is 2:15 am and my phone just rang with my mother apologizing for her behavior.  She is very sorry and when Dad wakes up, she wants to apologize to him. She actually said I do love my husband but I do not like the way he treats me....So Dad if you wake up and read this before mom wakes up, remember to act surprised and maybe just maybe you can get that hug that we all wish we could have.  I will say that I am blessed to have my brother and father in caring for my mother and we are the Three musketeers or maybe the three stooges....Not so sure.  And considering how late it is, please excuse me for not proofreading.  I just wanted to vent a bit to relax and head off to bed since tomorrow does not have a pause button. 
One final thing.  My old school had a posting for a reading resource teaching position.  I applied for it today so please keep me in your prayers that I get it.  Working will give us so much more financial reources to help so many more people out!!!

Tuesday, October 5

Uninspired

After three days, my mother is still as cantankerous and angry as ever.  She is bashing Dad every chance she gets, finding error in everything he does or does not do.  Somehow she has turned walmart on him.  She complains of a sore throat everyday and finally the realization came to my brother that it is because she screams so much.  I mean Halloween eerie loud shrieky scream.  I have never heard a scream like it and am seriously thinking of taping it and marketing it.  For some reason she has decided to be angry with me since I suggested that she should go into her room and get away from dad if he is upsetting her.  Then today, she decided that Kevin was a f****** stupid thing, a demon, and some other intensely evil ramblings. For two hours he sat there listening to her on a shrill rant about the evils of my father and me.  I am thinking that a few more days of this and we will need to reintroduce her little friend risperdone.  Only this time it will be a new and improved vitamin b 900 or something. 

Please keep us in your prayers as we undergo all the tests and travels out of town for the children.  Also pray that some grants go through for our works in faith organization. 

Monday, October 4

Tired of Doctors

It has been a bit since I have written-the trip to South Dakota required a great deal of time catching up with the children, my mother, my  husband, and my school work.  Not to mention that the day I came home my daughter was sick.  I cannot remember the last few weeks since I have been home.  It seems that I have spent so much time at the doctors.  Update on my children.  We had to go to a GI specialist for both of the children-Connor because of the chronic diarrhea and Kenzie for her lack of weight gain.  We figured since Connor had to go, we mind as well send Kenzie.  GI is concerned more about Connor because he is so tiny for his height.  I guess he is in the 50-75% for height and does not register for weight (22lb).  He actually looks slightly emaciated.  Also, the Doctor wants to check everything since Connor has a hard time eating good and seems to hate it, has frequent illnesses, was anemic, and now has tested for mal absorption.  We have to run a sweat test on him and Kenzie, extensive blood work, fecal tests, and for Connor an endoscopy with biopsy.  We are checking everything from Cystic Fibrosis, Celiac Disease, food allergies, and many other things.  Keep them uplifted in your prayers and hopefully in the next two weeks, we will have some answers.  Now thought, Kenzie still has her cold, Connor now has a croupy cough and stays up all night, and both children have been generous enough to give it to me.  I now understand why they are so cranky:)

Update on my mother:  She handled me being gone to SD because she thought I was sick.  During the trip, I did actually get a slight version of this cold and now have the full fledged version.  Because I have been so busy with the children, I have not paid as much attention to my mother's behaviors or antics.  I go up there twice a week by myself and sometimes on the weekends with the children.  She actually got to play with Kenzie the other day and had a great time.  The major difficulty we had this week was Saturday.  The bike fest and rib fest were in town and I was going to watch her while my brother and father went.  She decided she wanted to be alone and so I was able to go with them.  Kenzie also came and we had a great time just relaxing and there was only one rule :  no talking about Mom.  It was to be  a mom free day for the first time in years.  Well somewhere in between our festival time, mom decided that she did not want to be alone after all.  I guess dad got the brunt of it when he got home.  She decided to go to walmart which means crossing this very dangerous and deadly intersection.  Also, she grabbed all her money and a purse.  The unfortunate thing is when mom decides she is doing something, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop her.  She makes it there thankfully and is cornered by some people when they realize how off she is.  Walmart employees refuse to let her go and she starts panicking.  She decides to bolt out of the store and runs across the dangerous road.  Horns blare, trucks stop suddenly, and Mom is like a dear in the headlights.  She makes it home and realizes her money is missing.  She allows my dad to take her back to walmart to search for the missing money.  They spend two hours with her screaming and completely losing it on multiple occasions only to arrive home and find the money in her closet.  Ah what a day for dad-complete peace and happiness in the day, complete mayhem in the evening.  I will write more shortly!!
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