Saturday, April 24, 2010

to bike or not to bike...

It's NOT a question, if it were, obviously I would say "BIKE!"
But, unfortunately, due to a very wet spring, and this little thing called life and my job getting in the way, I have, regrettably, NOT been choosing the bike. Therefore my New Year's goal to do the dreaded but oh so attempting Tour of the Unknown Coast, (100 miles, 10,000 ft of climbing...can your legs hurt more?) just isn't gonna happen. I'm still going to make the metric century on that same day happen. I'm tempted to just go for it with the century, and knowingly die in the end, but it really really would not be fun, and not be good for my health. year TUC, I'm there....I'll have to pick out a century or two later this summer to do when I get get my butt in to gear, and when life slows down a bit, (hmmm, does that happen?)

Despite the onslaught of work, illness, and life in general I did manage to get out on a good ride last weekend. It was an Oh SO beautiful day, one of those days that makes you want to sing.
It was only 14 miles, but with 2,000 feet of climbing....which is typical of bike rides in my neck of the woods, all are straight up and down.
Riding makes me happy. I'm not totally sure why, but it just does. It feels good, during and after. Something about the wind in your face, being outside, and being STRONG!
Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
- Lord Charles Beresford Miscellaneous

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring fever and the 13 month old....

Yep, Forrest has officially hit his teenage months...THIRTEEN months! This last month was a toughie for our little boy. He got a nasty cold with cough, and before he could blink, ALSO came down with the stomach flu. He was hardly eating for a solid week. Thankfully, the last five days we have seen the return of our little tank, and he now is out eating both Alex and I. You seriously cannot keep the kid fed. Or perhaps you can, as you'll find food being thrown back at you in the split second he decides he's had enough, but I really don't understand how our little pint sized boy can pack it all in?
For does 2 1/2 yogurts, half a container of baby puffs, a large bowl of chicken noodle soup, milk, and juice sound for lunch? (okay, maybe snack and lunch, but still....)
Hmmmm, perhaps I didn't get the memo we were growing a sumo wrestler?
Regardless, I'm ecstatic we have our baby back. Not eating was starting to worry me. I like his little baby pot belly just the way it is!
Thirteen month Forrest still doesn't have words, and his forms of communication continue to keep me guessing. He's taken head banging to a new level and will follow me around purposefully banging away trying to get attention. Both Alex and I are trying to ignore it so he realizes it just won't work. We're also contemplating a time out area for a minute or so, but haven't done that yet. I know head banging can be normal, but when your kid's head is "BANG" hitting "BANG" the oven door, or "BANG" even "BANG" the slate kitchen floor "BANG BANG" you start to worry....
Forrest's activity is quite amazing. He's everywhere and is infatuated with all sorts of things. The usual suspects, rocks, dirt, grass, and sticks still captivate him. He loves to sit in our tall grass, with some dirt, and pick the grass throwing it into the dirt pile, and do the same with the dirt clods...throw them into the grass. He garbles on to himself and to us on and on and smiles and giggles all the time. Makes for some lovely "thank goodness the baby is occupied and not throwing himself down the hill so I can get some gardening done" time...:-)
He's moved into running. I think his activity tuckers him he's been a decent napper lately. Still stuck on the pacifier at naps and nighttime...and in the car. I don't know his official weight and height...we are a bit late for his 1 year appointment, but it is coming up in the next 2 weeks so I'll let you know what our lunk of baby love is tipping the scales at. All in all he is quite the character! He cracks Alex and I up on a regular basis. He's a little groover, be bopping his head to his baby music.
His personality is coming through which is awesome......

Summer is coming and we can't wait to let him explore our beautiful home more. It'll be a TON of work keeping up with him, but so much fun....
(keep the coffee coming...:-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The "Why me?" syndrome...

Do you feel this way? These past few weeks I have drifted in and out of this thought. It is not always negative, as you can look at it as if the event, or events, are  happening to you for a specific reason...this is the glass half full approach. The glass half empty approach has you screaming from the roof tops
with a bottle of hard liquor in your hands and your self pity overflowing.
I feel I have kept my syndrome in check. But man oh man the last few weeks have been trying. I can only thank my amazing coworkers, parents, and husband for their strenghth and skill through all this.
Our trials and tribulations on this ranch don't always have to do with animals, gardens, or where we are going to adventure next. Rather, because of the humongo responsibility a large piece of property holds, family is rather heavily involved. And with family comes more family, and more respnsibility at times. These last 3 weeks have held the usual burden of practically no days off for quite a stretch for me, as well as our entire family getting wipped out by a double whamee virus, but that we can deal with. What follows we never saw coming till it was upon us, literally sitting in our laps.
Aldine is my husband's grandmother. She is 95, born in 1914, and is quite the amazing lady. I mean, really, when is the last time YOU had a conversation with a 95 year old? She doesn't take ANY medications, has NEVER had surgery, and besides some poor eye site, gets around quite well.  She has lived with us part time for two years, with Alex's mother Gloria. The past 2 months we have been with her full time. So yes, folks, we have a one year old, and a 95 year old living within 50 feet of each other, (seperate houses mind you, but still, close quarters.) The dream of having your family all together may be nice, but I tell you, it is HARD work. And sometimes a bit impossible.
Lately Aldine's stories of her childhood, her loving late husband, and her job with the telephone company have left her, and in their place are the rather uninviting stories of poisoned food, a house that will blow up, and people loosing arms. Her hallmark place in her rocking chair in front of the woodstove have been replaced by jaunts on her hands and knees through poison oak and berry bushes, when she escapes the house.
No joke.
And it gets far worse, but I don't need to go there, you get the picture.
Alzheimers Dementia...advancing quickly.
So quickly, that we, for awhile, couldn't figure out how to get Aldine into town, to a doctor, where she desperately needed medical advice, prescription drugs, to help stop the voices.
She stopped eating and drinking as the voices told her it was poisonious.
I truly have never felt so helpless. She started wandering, getting combative. We called 911 and they wouldn't come, not a true medical emergency and we just live too far out in the sticks.
So, taking matters in our own hands we, (or Alex, my one and only....:-) scooped her up and drove her to the local ER one hour a way sandwiched between family. Thankfully my parents just happened to be "spring breaking" and up for the week, (some spring break huh mom and dad!) And having them here was truly a godsend. Aldine, got the help she deserved, we got the assistance we all had been craving, and finally this crazy chapter has come to an end.
So, my "why me?" syndrome has concluded as well...because I now know the anwser to "why me?"
Why not me?
This time in my life gave me an extroardinary amount of knowledge about our elders, the struggles we all face, how ill equipped Medicare leaves us to help our family get longterm care, and how a person WITHOUT medical knowledge or a healthcare connection could become so, hugely lost in the system. What would have happened if I was not a PA, who happened to work in an ER? Would my family still be living the nightmare that was 1 week ago? And more importantly, would Aldine be living in her nightmarish brain, with voices telling her her worst fears?
Now THAT is a scary thought.
So, moral of the story,
1)Please, GET a primary care provider, even if you are so against doctors you are 95 and haven't seen one in 20 years. EVEN if you don't take a single medication! And if you are caring for an individual, please, get them a doctor.
2) Have a plan for yourself, even if you are the tender age of 29, (ehhh hmmmm). I've heard rumors of our new healthcare system offering a set up to pay into a fund for money towards nursing home care should you need it later in life. This is huge. I still need to research it.
3) Always, always remember that the sweet, elderly person you call grandma who is now yelling at the top of their lungs to "hit the decks, people are shooting!" is not really aware of what they are doing. The relative you once knew is in there somewhere, but it will get you nowhere trying to reason with them.
4) And to end things....One day at a time. There were days this last month that we all wanted to escape. I work...funny how work can be your escape sometimes. EGGGH. But, as so many people have said before, "this too shall pass...." And it has. Aldine is now enroute to a new place, an Alzheimers care home, that can give her much better, educated, and well rounded care, and we can go on with our lives....forever changed.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter smeester....

Forrest's second ever Easter holiday was one of the more forgettable holidays on record. This mama was puking and finding it hard to even muster the energy to raise a finger, not to mention try to feed her baby. Forrest was fighting this same bug and seemed to spew projectile-like on a whim AND was still fighting his endless snot filled nose, and dad was just trying to maintain, and pretend his family wasn't melting down in front of him. The weather gods outside agreed with our germs and the stormy weather fit the feeling nicely.
Mr. Easter Bunny did make a visit though to the Fulton household, though a speedy one, as to not infect him with our hellacious spewing, energy sucking, snot dripping, general super lousy illness.
Forrest rose to the occasion, and in between his long LONG naps his little illness ridden body has necessitated, he thoroughly enjoyed his plastic easter egg gifts, (though would have nothing to do with the baby treats inside, stomach wasn't into that no thankyou!), his new pull frog toy, and the SLINKY!
Seriously, the slinky was the best gift Mr. Easter Bunny could have dreamed. Forrest loves it.
And for Alex and I, we just simply made a bargain with the bunny, good health is all we ask...with maybe a chocolate egg on the a week when we aren't seeing the back of the toilet in our dreams...ugggh.
But I believe what Mr. Bunny and the spirit of the holiday brought us is that rainbows tend to follow storms....:-)

Friday, April 2, 2010

The full moon and the Crazies....

Craziness tends to follow a full moon, or at least that is what the stereotype is. Though in our little life, if this were true, the whole month of March should have been one constant full moon. Though then we are into April, aren't we. I am truly hoping the wacko"ness" tends to calm down.
Nuts, complete nuts, is a great word to describe it. The weather has been a bit nuts, one day beautiful, the next hailing, the next snowing, the next pouring, the next sunny as can be, (at least I hope, I'm a bit tired of the cold, pouring, snowing deal,).
Good news seemingly comes on the heals of awful news over and over again and you just give up on how you think you should feel.
Family life has been nuts as well, though I will spare you all the bitter details of that. Lets just hope we all simmer down a bit, though I don't think it's that easy.
I guess Forrest has been the one sane one, maybe just in the fact his smiles, laughs, shrieks, and crazy one year old tendencies seem to help Alex and I keep grounded and continue on this journey we call life...
Though sometimes far off places like Alaska...(?Nebraska?) seem to call our names in a way that screams..."Escape!!!!"

And to spread the "normalcy" of our life to all of you and your crazies.....Forrest on our last sunny day, two weeks ago...
I'm thinking there's something to this dirt eating...