Our Alfie moto, Don't. cry because its over, smile because it happened.

Our Alfie moto, Don't cry because its over, smile because it happened.Dr Seuss

Saturday, 30 June 2012

189-192 Sadie strawberry sensation

My wee strawberry sweetheart turned TWO yesterday, we had a lovely party and I've spent all week making, sewing, baking and basically i've had enough of strawberries.......except Strawberry Sadie.

Blowing her candles out, her lovely GG in the background.

Archie got his own 'digger' cupcake - THANKS Marty.

Grandma Granda cheering Sadie's candle blowing abilities.

It was just lovely to see everyone, all the wee ones running around. So glad my dad could come, I had a strange underlying feeling all day someone was missing, and I can only think it was my before the stroke dad. Shit how is it possible to miss someone when they are in the same room as you. xxxxxx

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

186-88 it all starts with picking up a pen.....

Dad picked up his pen and his newspaper and looked at his cryptic crossword - not that he was able to do any clues, but nevertheless the spark has been ignited. Another big step towards finding a way forward that brings satisfaction, happiness, quality of life and some pleasure and joy for all of us.

I have spent a considerable amount of time at mum and dads, mainly as company for mum and the kids are a great distraction for dad. His SOH has not diminished, if anything it has increased ( hmm I wonder if it is compensating, as one senses do when one fails?). Anyways on Sunday during the mad few hrs we had where I was #looking after' the kids, my dad and my gran aged 91 and her younger sister, Archie was playing in a wee cardboard box. He tipped over backwards an fell but was stuck in the box - my dad was beside himself with laughter, so good to hear.

We had another virtual meltdown today trying to locate the remote control for the tv, poor mum was stressing it would be stuck on cbeebies all night - I can understand her stress it isn't easy to tolerate high levels of  mike the knight, kerwhizz, cloud babies etc, moreover the tv is a necessity for dad in the eve as he can't read anymore. No worries after looking everywhere, including, bin, fridge, bathroom cabinets etc - dad had it in his pocket!

All things strawberry has started heating up tonight, I started a garland, pug started the pinata and I did a wee crochet one too.......agh to all the cooking though, yikes better get my self organised.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

184-85 blauwn those cobwebs away

running 5k in headwind along the prom this afternoon has given me the lift I needed. It took me 40mins so no the best time but still meant guilt free chocolate tonight.

Popped int to mum and dads after the run and had a quick blether, Dad woke up and said 'what you being doin the day' - well he only actually said 'day' but i could tell from his intonation what he said. He also answered the phone today and said Hello. He put the toast in the toaster and made it himself. Biggest achievement is he went with mum tot eh flat, I really hope that will have settled that issue for him and mum won't have the daily battle of telling him it is all ok.
Some of the menfolk came down to watch the fitba with him the night so mum got a wee night oot with the women, hope that makes her feel better too.

We are all feeling slightly better because both his SALT team said this week it is very early days, phew.

I spent this eve making these little guys for the teachers at nursery (as a way of erasing my mum fail reputation!)
Finally......still not found a childminder YIKES! if anyone reads this and knows of a childminder in my area please get in touch ASAP! beginning to get scared now.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

180-183 on the come down......

Well it has sunk in that dad is home, it has also sunk in that he is really poorly. My beautiful dad, it is friggin heartbreaking seeing him. We all met up in M&S the other day, so strange to see him outside - and a total shock to system realising how out of it he was. Poor guy, he doesn't realise that he isn't himself. He tries to do all the stuff he would do normally, going to bank, leaving house on his own, climbing up ladder to attic, banking and business seem to be his main focus, he is clearly upset about not taking care of his business. He made mum drive him to petrol station the other night - he knows how awful she is about remembering to fill the tank. I am so sad for my mum, I so desperately want him to improve for everyone sake's........too painful. I miss my lovely dad.

Mean time, we are trying to keep buoyant, starting a schedule of care visits, to relieve mum and dad. Planning a little for the future - Momo and I are going with kids up north for a few nights in Jul ( what would I do without her??) , Sadie's party is only a week away, so loads of baking and eating yummy.

Kids are great and today's wet weather activity was painting a lovely card for Archie's teacher
finger painting

booty painting

thomas painting - the train!

face painting.
I did another huge mom fail today, I must admit it was one in a line of them.....last week we missed sports day as I didn't know it was on and I didn't have enough time to get to park, it was raining and I had Tuesday club. This week I turned up and the nursery show was on - poor Archie I had no idea so no grandparents to watch him with me, nor was he in smart clothes (hmmm quite the opposite) Anyways, he was non the wiser, he couldn't have cared less and said it was boring. Give him his due he did manage to sit still for 20mins although he never sang a word.
stage debut- Johnny rotten t-shirt and soggy scarf.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

175-179 a new kind of normal

It has been ages since I wrote a blog entry, last time I had such a big gap was just before dad has his stroke.
I updated on fb the day he left hospital so I am guessing everyone was up to speed on his amazing return home.
Since then he has had my mum's version of OT, which is making him do everything for  himself and her. It is working, He managed to set the table correctly the 1st night, which is nothing short of miraculous for a guy who had 3 weeks previously tried to eat his soup with a fork. He is making the coffee (went straight to kitchen today and put kettle on as soon as we got in the door),  setting the table, reading the paper - today he let mum know about an article about a TV show that Antony was filming.
We had a crazy conversation about the weather and why we had gone to the zoo with the kids today in the rain (pretty good considering I can't really make out any actual words in his chat). We are all learning to have a new kind of normal, not just dad and mum but us as well. Archie had a great time doing a jigsaw with grandad this afternoon, I am happy just to watch them together. SO amazing to see dad so relaxed finally and mum back to her old self, she is just a remarkable woman. I always knew my mum and dad were a strong couple and pretty special folks, this recent hurdle has proved that once again. They are both an inspiration, so proud of how well my mum has handled the whole thing, she is fantastic.

We had a nice weekend, we visited the zoo for fathers day with our lovely pals and the beautiful baby Harris. I think Mini Haha thinks he is a living doll, even if he isn't a kick n the arse of her in height. She spent ages kissing him and stroking his hair - of course he lapped it up.
Doodle was a mini olympian this week, he seemed quite impressed by the whole thing, funny as he never shows much interest in sport at all. Mind you he does do his 'exercises' to get healthy with me and races me to nursery most days.
Every now and then the kids say something that tickles me so much I feel I have to record it for them to look back on, my current faves are Archie calling his big toe his 'thumb toe' and (don't ask) he was playing around with a metal hook and put it up his nose telling me he was the 'nose dentist'. I love the logic of his thinking.

Finally Sadie had a lovely wee lunch date with her sweet friend Violet, it is so nice for Mini to get some girl time - she can hold her own among the boys but some quiet Violet time is always welcomed.
Phew, only a few weeks to Mini's bday and I have tons to do. Finish a muslin for my dress, make the final dress. Make Mini's bday dress. Make the teachers a wee treat each, make some suitable strawberry things foe her party - better get some kip.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

173-74 last night in captivity

Alan is leaving the building - mum collecting him at 9.30am...Auntie Geraldine is going with her, I'm glad someone is.
I am so exited about dad coming home - so so hoping he will recognise his own house. I was talking to my lovely friend Jenny today about it all. Douglas st has been our family home for about 36 years, 36 years of memories - parties, xmas', so much laughter, tears, a lifetime of memories - I did all my 'growing up' in that house - I will be gutted if dad doesn't know where he is or how he is central to what that house symbolises for us as a family. Even if he doesn't remember I really believe he will feel the love if not the memories.

A wee kid chat funny happened the other night that I forgot to record. I had my neighbours kids over for tea and as I served up the food I said 'dig in', Sophie commented that is what her grandad says. Sadie the said 'my grandad say do do do do' (WATC, now grandads theme tune).... if I didn't laugh I'd cry.

My other 'funny' re dads illness (not really sure what term to use, as he isn't actually ill as such). Mum and I were discussing his therapy timetable as an outpatient, and she mentioned that he has a group session on a Friday for aphasics - I never said to her but I keep giggling at the thought of a room full of folk who can't talk attempting to do a group peer support session.

I know I need to give them some room but I really want to run down there the morn afternoon and see them together in the hoose........no long now dad xxx

Monday, 11 June 2012

171-72 and he's off!!!! Windygates no more

As of thursday my dad is coming home!!! so pleased, I was just pondering what to do for fathers day - how lovely he will be in his own hoose. I can take the wee down to visit and take him some treats. i was crying on the phone with him today knowing I can see him whenever I want. I am so pleased that mum and dad will finally be together, all the other concerns pale when I think how much nicer it will be for them to wake next to one another and fall asleep together at night - happy days!
I am going to see him the morns night, I'm hoping to see an improvement, apparently 3 days ago he made a further change and is more alert, has a spark back in his eyes.

Yesterday was lovely, I was kinda dreading it mainly because both Sadie and I have the cold and the weather was nasty. It was however really braw to see everyone, some new faces and some old. Archie drew on Alfie's balloon some kisses, cuddles and licks - then spent the rest of the day wondering how we could get the strawberries up to Alfie as he might be hungry.  I want to write something heartfelt and beautiful - however, I am no Bronte/Byatt so suffice to say, I thought of my eldest boy and what would have, could have been with a heart filled with love, love for his wee brother and sister for without him they wouldn't be! For that my wee man, I thank you for making mummy happy everyday. XXX

All the yellow balloons represent the babies who died in Fife this year.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

169-70 the week that lasted forever

Phew, can't believe its only been a week since I last watched some decent tv. I feel like this week has gone on and on and on - Haven't seen dad since Tue as I have a yucky cold and don't want him to catch it. Missing him and Mum.
I have consumed my own body weight in chocolate and carbs this week (hormonal) and I had that meeting at work yesterday (forgot to mention last weeks was cancelled). On the plus side I did manage to run 15K over the week, 7 of them this morning (my longest so far, reckon I'll manage a 10K in sept).
Hoping the run will balance out the batch of these awesome cookies I just made and will probably consume by mon am - back to dietsville I go.

 Meeting was exhausting, I cried the whole way through (certainly not my plan for it!), they seem open if not happy about my reduction in hours, glad I had my union rep with me as he told me I am eligible to reduce my hours for 2 years without losing my ft permanent status, which would be great - hopefully by the with Archie at school and Sadie in nursery it might not be so hectic. Bummer is the childminder I found has now decided to give it up so back to square one then.

No more news re dad coming home other than mum getting the house looked over to see if there are any potential hazards.

Archie and I had one of those conversations today that goes on for hours - clearly means a lot to him and is stuck in his head. We have our annual balloon release for sands tomorrow and I was explaining it to him. He knows about Alfie, we have a wee photo of him on our bedroom dresser and his memory box is next to the bed (the kids look through it occasionally).so it was unexpected today when he go really sad about not having his brother - he asked at least say 50 time show Alfie died, what dead is. I explained about the hypercoiled cord - not sure he got it, he seemed to understand. Tonight we cut up 6 punnets of strawberries to take with us for the picnic and he said these can be Alfie's ones - that will cheer him up. He seems to think Alfie is worried - poor wee guy just doesn't get it. I reassured him we were happy and didn't get sad anymore about Alfie, we just like to remember him on special days - Archie suggested we bake him a cake, maybe we will........that could be our Alfie thing to do and we all love cake.
Bracing myself for a whole Alfie day the morn, Pugs is working so its just me and the wee ones and too many ballooons to release.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

158-60 scones and tea

Been an eventful few days for dad. Yesterday he made his 1st cup of tea, the OT laid everything out and he just walked in and made it no bother, he is a bit of a tea jenny so it is no surprise. Great progress though, hopefully it means he can get a cuppa when he gets up in the am. OT said it was too easy they will have to try something harder next time!

Today he went out with mum and his 2 mates, the 2 couples have been pals forever and had just returned from a holiday in Spain when dad had his stroke. How lovely to hear mum telling me all about their wee outing,they went to the  Inn at Lathones, and had tea and scones. Dad spread his own butter and jam on his scone ate them both and drank his tea. The main concern about dad leaving the hospital is whether he would cope on return, he was fine with it - mum had drawn a wee sketch before they left explaining the day, he clearly understood it, because as soon as his mates turned up he got up ready to go.

Things are looking up! looking forward to a nice trip to loch levens larder for cakes, tea and a wee walk...happy day Dad, home soon xxx

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

155-57 bit of a slump

I've been really struggling over the last few days and wasn't keen to share/blog my fragile emotional state.
I reckon my dad has been too, He made 2 escape attempts today one of which he almost managed to make it of the grounds (scary). He is making progress, but sadly Cameron is not the miracle cure. He is responding to therapy both physio and SALT but not to OT. It is such an unknown quantity and therefore unsettle and exhausting.

The next step on our horizon is dad coming home, he has no need other than therapy to stay at Cameron. It has been suggested that he might benefit more from doing therapy as an outpatient. He is so miserable being in the hospital the hope is he might respond better to therapy if he is happy. I am so emotional about the whole thing, I so desperately want him to be home, however that means that we are much more aware of his deficits. I hate the thought of pooping in to see my mum and dad and dad being unable to understand whats going on. I know he does understand some stuff, but I worry about him becoming disturbed and upset by being home. What if he has no concept of home, what if he isn't miserable because of hospital, he might just be miserable.........poor guy, it is crushing watching him struggling to formulate thoughts.

I don't want to be all negative and of course it will be awesome for dad to be in his own environment, how lovely will it be to see him sitting in the garden with the kiddos running around.

Shit if I'm feeling like this, goodness knows how mum and dad feel. I am aware of how institutionalised I feel with my routine of visiting him and how familiar it has become. In which case the sooner we get him out the better.

The kids will be loving it, xxxxx

Saturday, 2 June 2012

153-4 full compliment

Dad had a full house today. My brother and his two boys visited with him this aft, then Antony Kirsty Peggy and wee Maybs at teatime then myself and Bill tonight. When I arrived Bill had just bet me to it, so I stayed out in the late eve sun with mum, it is lovely to have some time to chat with her - although we have made some progress this week in that she has watched Sadie briefly at hers while I popped to the GPs and then she took Archie to nursery so slowly some normal grandma duties are resuming.
Back to dad, he was on fine form tonight and had quite a wee laugh at various nonsense going on, he motioned 'sleep' when Bill told us he had a 3 hour aft nap (jammybesom).

We had a night in Edinburgh again, getting flat organised for this weeks visitors. Whilst there we had so much fun with Sam, V and baby Harris - see above how cute he is 'hands up high wee man', Haha showing him what to do whilst wearing his 3-6months hoodie, that girl is mini mini mini.

So Mini that I found a wee mini size glass for her this morning, she was so tickled I had to photo it to show Granda