Thursday, August 28, 2008

Getting It Together

We moved into this house in March 2004. A few months later (September), my dad got very sick and passed away suddenly. My mom had always been frail and I knew Dad did everything for her, so it became my duty to take mom grocery shopping, to appointments and basically anything else she needed.

I didn't mind and I had the time and she really didn't do much, other than shop for groceries once a week and have the occasional doctor's appointment. She had her hair styled once a week, but the beautician was right down the street from her, so she drove herself to that appointment and she had housekeepers who came and cleaned every other week.

This went on for about 8 months and I found out I was pregnant (with Sissy - in June 2005)). I kept taking care of mom and making time to get to my own rather frequent doctor's visits (I was REALLY a high risk pregnancy, so I was at my OBs office frequently).

In October 2005, my mom fell one night and broke her pelvis. While she was in the hospital, they noticed that she was having trouble swallowing, so they did a scope procedure of her esophagus and stomach. Initially, everything looked fine and they planned to send her to the recovery unit of the hospital to do rehab.

Then, the lab work on the scope procedure came back. She had esophageal cancer and it was terminal. With this news, the doctors decided she didn't qualify for rehabilitation, so I had to find a nursing home to give her round the clock care.

We offered to have her live with us, but she refused and even if she had said yes, I would have still needed home health care. At 5 months into a high risk pregnancy, there was no way I could lift her or be of any service, really.

I visited the nursing home several times a day and kept in touch by phone with the nurses. Meanwhile, I was paying the bills at her house and taking care of paying the housekeepers, who I kept on.

Mom was in the nursing home less than a month when she passed away in November of 2005. Sissy was born in February of 2006 and my life continued to be hectic.

To say that my house took the brunt of my over-scheduled life would be an understatement.

I had a newborn and I was going through all the probate and estate stuff necessary to put my parents' house on the market. The house finally sold in May 2007 (and let me tell you, THAT whole ordeal is another blog).

The Evil Twin and I had some remodeling done on our own house that summer, but there were three other things I wanted to do.

1. Repaint our bedroom.
2. Repaint the hallway.
3. Remove the wallpaper from the dining room and kitchen and repaint. (that's going to be a fairly large job).

Now that Sissy is moving from babyhood into toddlerhood, we are able to get some of the baby clutter put away. Last week, I bought her a booster seat for the kitchen table, so the Peg Perego high chair that has served us well through two children is ready to go.

Sissy is a little more self-sufficient, which means I have time to do more around the house.

It's only taken me four years, but my house is finally getting the attention it needs. I'm in crazy woman on a mission mode for organization.

Some people are sad to see their kids growing up, going off to school. They cry on the first day of kindergarten. Not me, pal. (okay, I did shed a tear on Buddy's first day of preschool, but I had spent almost every day of four years with the little man...I wasn't used to being away from him where he wasn't with another family member).

I enjoy seeing my kids grow up, become more mature, etc. I don't look at is as losing a baby, but more like I'm gaining a person. A really cool person, in the case of my two children. :-)

I sense this is going to be a year of lots of GOOD changes. I'm actually looking forward to it.

Since 2004, my life has been chaos. The reign of chaos ends here. Whew.


  1. A reduction in baby-clutter? I am jealous. My condolences on the loss of your parents. It sounds like you are well-deserving of some normalcy.

  2. You have a very healthy attitude about your kids growing up.
    I am happy for you that things are getting to a "normal" state - it's so hard to suffer through loss.

  3. Woo Hoo!! On Sissy graduating to booster seat and the clearing of the clutter!

  4. Gigi - thanks. I am glad to be shucking the baby clutter!

    Momma - me too! Thanks. :-)

    Ron - Now, we can focus on graduating to big girl bed and no diapers! LOL. (before you say it, I'm talking about Sissy - I've already made those milestones myself).

  5. I'm happy for you and proud of you! You seem to have found some sort of peace you might have been missing for a while. You deserve it :) Love ya!

  6. When my boys were making those transitions to 'bigger boy' I was excited for them. It's neat seeing them grow up!

    Hey - it's a wonder you just didn't throw your hand up two years ago and let them cart oyou off to the padded room. You've done well!

  7. I didn't cry about Kindergarten either - it was woo hoo! my daycare bill just cut in half!

    I love when I'm a Woman on a Mission. Nothing excites me more than an organization project completed.

    Now I've just got to get to packing.

  8. Laura - I hope it's more peace. Something we can all use! :-)

    Tiff - I wanted to, many times. My good friend Chardonnay pulled me through.

    vinomom - I know! I'm excited about my new plan.

  9. I didn't know that your adoptive mom had passed away. You went through hell, didn't you? I had some months like that when my dad passed away and my daughter was separating and divorcing. Life was very rough then, and luckily, it is easier now (except for the stroke).

  10. I remember you blogging about your dad's passing but not your mom. Sad story my friend...and I have been there with the whole probate mess with siblings whining for their cut but doing minus nothing. fixing up a home is fun...enjoy the hard work and results.

  11. I know what you mean. My Dad's house isn't sold yet and now my brother wants to rent it out @@

    I keep saying that if I had a week, no, two weeks with no one else at home and no work, I could really get my sh&* together.

    That's not asking too much is it?

  12. Families complicate things. Don't they?

  13. Good for you! That was a true shitload on your plate. Here's a glass to making less chaos out of total chaos. :)

  14. Kenju - my mom was at the same nursing home yours is.

    rosemary - yep, they died within 14 months of each other and I got NO help from my sibling. He just sat and waited for his check.

    k - I'm really going to try to get my act together now.

    LBB - it was complicated, but I think we've finally reached a less complicated place.

    Janis - Oh, I haven't even written about the worst of it. I'm just glad to be moving on now.

  15. Congratulations! Just remember that stuff can happen in steps.

    No point in throwing yourself into exhaustion, eh? Get some rest, and enjoy the 'process of change'.

    I understand that boxed wine may help the pace ease a little. :)

  16. I have a saying about such things - Life gets in the way.

  17. Renn - our motto here is: take small steps. And boxed wine is always an option. ;-)

    Inanna - She does for sure!!! Come visit?