Friday, December 21, 2007

Flea of One Good Thing has another wonderful “Letters to Santa” story this year. Her Mrs. Claus letter is perfect.

***

At chez selzach, the best gift was for a child we selected from the angel tree. We debated over what to get and eventually decided to get what was first on our child’s list: a bike. We didn’t go for one of the expensive, super-nice bikes, but found a reasonably priced one. I hope he won’t be disappointed.

***

My grad school department hosted a Christmas party every year. We’d get a tree and decorate it and everyone, students, staff and faculty, would bring food. After the party we’d bring in gifts and wrap them. Finally, the gifts, tree, and a food basket would go to a needy family. It was such a nice tradition.
The family and I made a last-minute gift run last night. We noticed multiple police cars at the little pizza joint next to our subdivision. We wondered if a robbery had taken place as we turned into our neighborhood. We took a quick drive down a couple of neighboring streets, to enjoy the holiday lights, and made our way home. That’s when we noticed the police helicopter flying directly overhead.

Peanut and I went inside while Hubby gathered the laptop out of his patrol car. He turned on the radio while the computer booted up. It was abuzz. Yes, the pizza place had been robbed by two gunmen who fled on foot…into our subdivision. The helicopter was circling, perimeters were set up, and a tracking dog was brought in. Neighbors on the next street called in to report suspicious people and items dropped in their backyards.

Several hours later, two males were taken into custody. They later confessed to robbing the pizza place. They live in a subdivision catty-corner to ours and were trying to make their way back to their house. I guess they didn’t realize the cops would be faster than them. I’m glad they’re no longer on the loose.

UPDATE: The robbers were apprehended at the hospital. Apparently, they went to another nearby pizza/Italian joint for some slices of pizza before robbing the other place. They ended up with severe food poisoning and went to the ER. Talk about karma.

Hubby and I frequent the food poisoning place but usually order whole pies or other meals which (we assume) are freshly made. If this place is anything like the dumpy place I waitressed at in college, they prepare the by-the-slice pies in the morning and leave them sitting out all day. When someone orders a slice, it goes into the oven to be warmed then is served. Food poisoning comes as no surprise.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cheeky tagged me for the "8 Things About Me" meme:

The rules are as follows:
People who are tagged need to write in their own blog these rules & the eight things. At the end of your blog post, tag six people and list their (blog) names. Leave a comment on their blog telling them they've been tagged and encourage them to read your blog.

Since I doubt I even have six readers, I’m not going to tag anyone. If you read the blog and would like to participate, consider yourself tagged and leave me a comment saying so!

1) I was attacked by a police dog-in-training when I was a kid. It was my second day at a new babysitter’s. I went inside to get her because a boy was hitting one of the other girls (we had been playing in the back yard) and made her cry. I got partway across the kitchen when suddenly a snarling German Shepherd had me pinned to the floor and was biting my shoulder. Luckily, the babysitter’s husband, a State Police K-9 trainer was home and got the dog off me. I had several punctures on my shoulder and a bruised bone. Needless to say, I never went back and they paid for my doctor’s bills. Mom never took actions against them, but I would probably have done something – they had 3 K-9s loose in the house among the kids. A smaller child could have been maimed or killed.

2) My best part-time job ever was driving an ice cream truck. My then-boyfriend’s parents rented the truck for the summer season (as one of their usual get-rich quick schemes.) The boyfriend and I would drive it several days a week. We learned all the good beaches and neighborhoods and figured out the competitor’s route so we could beat him to the good places. I became super quick at adding and subtracting in my head since we only had a cash box. At the end of the day, we’d split the money 3 ways. 1/3 to his parents to cover gas and cost of the ice cream and the other 2/3 split between the two of us. I’d come home with anywhere from $50-250 in cash.

3) I am a dual-national, although both of my passports are years past expiration.

4) Patience is not one of my strong points. I’m also stubborn. It’s not a good combination. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I struggle a lot to be patient, especially with Peanut. He also is stubborn, impatient, and strong-willed and we butt heads all the time. I see so much of myself in him.

5) I love home-cooked meals, but am not a huge fan of cooking, especially after a long day at work. I’m looking forward to Christmas and the thime to make a real dinner – roasted chicken with stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, creamed peas, cranberry jelly…the works.

6) I want to learn something crafty/artistic. I’d love to learn to felt, crochet, or make stained glass art. One of these days I will. I tried to learn crocheting a couple of times and did miserably. Quilting also fascinates me, but I don’t think I’d ever have the patience or skill to make something pretty.

7) I get homesick every time I visit my parents. I miss my home state, but am pretty sure I wouldn’t be happy living there. My parents live in a gorgeous area, but it has become built-up and expensive. I miss the seasons, flora, fauna, and my family, of course. The traffic always drives me nuts, and after a couple of bad winter storms and a week or two of temperatures not breaking freezing, I’d probably be ready to move back south.

8) I love to read. Generally, I read fiction as a way to relax. I mix in some classic literature and non-fiction, but most of the stuff I read is fiction – novels, short stories, mysteries. Barbara Kingsolver is one of my all-time favorite authors.
Ah, home, sweet home:

Woman on crutches accused of groping Santa
Sexual assault allegedly occurred on his lap at Connecticut mall

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mom is settling in (somewhat) at the state hospital. I've spoken with her a couple of times and we had good conversations. She was coherent and asked many questions about me, Peanut, Hubby, the pregnancy, and the family. She also said she's going to try harder to do what she needs to do to get better. It's wonderful to hear that she has some hope again. There are other days when I call that she refuses to come to the phone or is in the middle of another hyperventillation spell and can't talk.

I've filled out pages of paperwork on her financial status. Full price monthly stay at the hospital is roughly $10K. Her monthly check isn't even 1/10th of that much. They should work with us to make sure she has enough money to continue paying rent to the trailer park and her other medical bills. There won't be much left over for the hospital. Certainly nothing near their price.

Somehow she has lost her top teeth (denture) and glasses. The teeth went missing in the medical ward. She placed them in a cup and I suspect they were accidentally thrown away. The missing glasses are another story. She laid them on a bathroom shelf to take a shower and when she was finished, they were gone. I suspect they didn't disappear accidentally. I wonder if another patient took them.

The hospital will somehow take care of getting her some new teeth, but the glasses are questionable. I spoke with her ophthamologist's office today and they can't find the record of her glasses, which were purchesed there. So I left a message for the social worker and will see where it goes.
I love the Advent season. The tree and lights are up. The advent wreath is on the table and we say a little prayer and light the appropriate candles each night. I’ve pulled out my Christmas CDs and have been enjoying the music.

My favorites are the traditional Christmas carols. I have a couple CDs that feature arrangements and direction by John Rutter. The choir is amazing and the arrangements are beautiful. The songs remind me of singing carols in church as a child. Songs by Rutter were common both in the children’s hymnal we used at the Lutheran parochial school I attended and in the Congregational church Mom and I went to.

I popped one of the CD’s into the car radio. Peanut listened for a minute then asked “Is that Mr. Bean music?” I cracked up. We gave him the Mr. Bean TV series on DVD for his birthday, and one of the episodes features Mr. Bean in church, singing a traditional (but not Christmas) hymn – in fact one I recognized from my own childhood churchgoing days. Smart boy.

One of my favorite Christmas hymns is “In the Bleak Midwinter”.
words by Christina Rossetti, 1872
1. In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

2. Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

3. Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

4. Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

5. What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart

Monday, December 03, 2007

Since I last posted...

Peanut turned 3 (actually he turned 3 a few days prior to my last post). We had a small Superman-themed party at our house with a few friends and their families. We ordered a few platters of food from our local Pubics (Publix) and did no planning. It was great. The kids played together and the grownups sat around eating and talking. Best Friend and her family stayed into the evening and we ordered a pizza and watched a couple of movies.

We visited Hubby's family for Thanksgiving. Peanut had another birthday party there along with his second cousin who just turned one. He had so much fun playing with all his cousins and being doted on by the grandparents. There was some family drama, but nothing too bad. Oldest and youngest SILs are both drinking (a lot by the looks of it). They popped in for Turkey, dropped off gifts, then headed to the campround to drink some more. Oldest's grandson was sick and wound up in the ER that night, but she couldn't be bothered to help her very worried daughter. We wound up staying at FIL's so our niece, her husband, and sick baby could stay at MIL's instead of spending the night alone. Youngest SIL also filled us in on her DUI hit-and-run this summer. Unfortunately for her, the victim got her tag number, so several cops were waiting when she arrived at home. She somehow weaseled out of a DUI charge, but still has to appear on the rest. Hubby's drug-addict cousin, who is squatting in a trailer with no utilities has apparently been breaking into MIL's vacant house for heat, cable, and hot water. Pretty much the usual.

Mom is still at the state hospital. Apparently someone transposed my home phone number, so the social worker and general physician weren't able to contact me (but somehow the shrink has working numbers for me - go figure.) Mom had a bad time for the first few days, got dehydrated, refused meds and food, tried to remove her patch (psych meds), and had to be tube fed. She's eating and drinking now. It sounds like a g-tube is a pretty nasty thing and is good motivation for her to eat on her own. They want to do some scans of her abdomen, but I haven't been able to contact the general doctor, so I'm not sure what's going on with that.


We're looking forward to Christmas. Peanut is so excited to see all the lights. We may get the tree up tonight - I did the outside lights last night.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This morning was fairly typical. Peanut didn't want to wake up or eat breakfast. He yelled "No snuggle me" when I tried to hold him upright and speed the waking process. He didn't want English muffins with cream cheese - his current favorite (he will swipe mine if I'm not careful). Even the promise of a donut failed. I dressed him while he was still half asleep. It involved much fussing and squirming and complaints about my outfit choice. We finally got dressed, washed, and brushed with the bribe of a donut in the car. Then he wanted the English muffin, which I had already tossed. Crying ensued. We got settled down and into the car with a donut and a baggie of froot loops.

Once we pulled out of the garage, more complaints followed.

"I don't want sun up. I want it dark."

"Sorry, sweetie. I can't control the sun."

"I mad."

"Are you mad at Mommy?"

"Yeah."

"Are you mad at Daddy?"

"Yeah."

"Are you mad at the sun?"

"Yeah."

"Are you mad at Luna?"

"Yeah."

"Are you mad at Lily?"

"No. She good doggie."

A short while later...

"I not mad anymore. I happy."

We had a great drive and he bounced into daycare. He carried his donut and loops to his favorite teacher's room, grabbed a chair and sat down to eat. I had to ask for a hug and kiss.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm still not much in the mood for blogging. Several things are going on, but I've been feeling introspective and a bit antisocial.

Mom was transferred to the state mental hospital yesterday. I spoke briefly with the psychiatrist who needed my approval (as GA) on Mom's meds and had a couple of questions. Once Mom is assigned a social worker, they will be in contact with me and I can find out about visitation, if Peanut is allowed, etc. Mom's freaking out escalated as her transfer time approached. She was sure she was going to die before the tranfer date or would die during the car ride there. It's the same every time. She talks about how she "needs" to be placed somewhere or "needs" a specific treatment and when she gets it, she flips out. She claimed she wasn't eating or sleeping, then I discovered she has been eating crackers and has been doing OK with her meals. Her perception of reality is certainly altered.



Hubby and I have been thinking a lot about his property in NC. As in, could we make a living if we sold our house, put some sort of little pre-fab home on the land, and found jobs up there. If he continued in law enforcement, he'd lost $20k a year. He'd probably make a bit more teaching. I have no idea what I would do. As far as I know there is only one research facility nearby, and when I last lived in the area, there was talk of shutting it down. The pay would also be around @20k less than I make. I could maybe go back to waiting tables for the short term or find some sort of office job. Money aside, we'd be close to his family, in the middle of a stunningly beautiful area, and away from a lot of the crap that goes on here. Not that we're naive. Meth is a big problem there, as it is here (Hubby's step-nephew, ex brother-in-law, and very likely his step-brother sadly are examples.) People know you and your family and look out for. one another. Peanut would have grandparents and cousins a few minutes away.

We've decided to make moving back to NC part of our 1-5 year plan. We'll be visiting for Thanksgiving and are going to ask around about potential jobs and get an estimate of what it would cost to put up a home complete with water, septic, a driveway and utilities. Hubby really wants this, and I do, too. Up until a few years ago, we swore we'd never be happy living there. It's funny how things change when you have a family. Priorities shift, as does your idea of a complete life. Sure, we'll miss the beaches (which we haven't been in 3 years other than camping), the good shopping, and the attractions. But we'll be two hours from Atlanta, Asheville, or Chattanooga. A stone's throw from national forests. Near family.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween was so much fun. Peanut dressed as Superman, of course. He wore his costume to daycare yesterday and was excited to see another Superman and two Spidermen. He ran off to play with the other Superman with hardly a glance back at me.

He and Hubby did the neighborhood circuit last night. Superdog (yes, she had a costume, too) and I went part of the way, then returned home to hand out candy. He came home with blisters from so much walking. He was a great helper handing out candy and asking the other kids what they were dressed as. We had a very cute Buzz Lightyear and two adorable little princess/fairies stop by.

Shortly before bedtime, Hubby put on a show about the 100 scariest movie scenes. Peanut was enthralled, to my dismay. He threw a fit when Hubby changed the channel, so they watched some more. About an hour after Peanut fell asleep, he had a night terror. I’m convinced the show had something to do with it. Hubby thinks it was too much candy. It may be a combination of all the Halloween excitement, but I think the scary show was a factor. Sorry, but an almost 3-yo doesn’t need to see Gage from Pet Sematary hacking up Hermann Munster with a scalpel. Or Gina Davis give birth to a maggot.

Around 3 this morning, we woke up to fussing and a shout of “Scooby Doo!” Hubby and I snickered.

Around 5, he started belly laughing in his sleep.

While I was in the bathroom getting dressed, he woke up and started crying and calling for me.

“Mommy where are you? Mommy? I need you. Where’s the tiger? It’s gonna get me! I wanna sit on the couch.” I settled him down and after asking “What’s dat noise?” after every little creak or rustle of the bed, he went back to sleep for another 30 minutes.

He did pretty well with getting ready for daycare, especially for such a tired little guy. (He fell back asleep in the car.) Once at daycare we spotted some cool bug, dinosaur, and sea animal toys and a box of seashells. I showed him how to hold a shell up to his ear to hear the “ocean”. He and another boy were so busy listening with the shells that he didn’t get upset when I left!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I haven't felt much like writing lately. Mom is the same, still waiting for a bed in the state hospital. She's up the the usual, telling me she's not eating, then telling me she eats about 50% of her food. That's not great, but not terrible, either. She now has diabetes and completely freaked out when the doctor started her on the meds for that. Her concern that she'll die of diabetes complications hasn't stopped her from refusing the meds, though. I've cut way back on my visits. During the last visit she kept telling me to leave, then as the nurse was letting me out, she grabbed my arm and started crying. Her manipulations are exhausting.

Hubby, Peanut and I took a short trip to visit Dad and Stepmom. It was much needed by both of the adults. Peanut took to my parents after an initial bought of shyness and had a wonderful time with them. Grampy remembered Peanut's love of sticks and carved the perfect one for him. We had a blast making a leaf pile in the back yard while Peanut tossed and kicked leaves around. We visited my aunt who has a buyer for her house and my old crew of school friends. One friend just had an adorable baby, another is pregnant, and the other just moved into a gorgeous new house.

It was so nice to spend time with my parents and feel like a family. We all were sad to leave. Peanut was so upset he refused to even look at Grammy and Grampy once he was buckled into the carseat. All the way to the airport, he asked if they were coming with us or if we were going back to their house.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I really, really need to watch my potty mouth around Peanut.

He loves to play warbird computer games with Hubby. Hubby flies while Peanut shoots everything in sight. Their plane had some difficulties yesterday.

"Oh, dammit. It crashed."

Hubby and I are still laughing.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

As badly as things go with Mom, Peanut helps me keep it all in perspective. The latest with her is that a person from DCF is now involved and thinks she'll eventually go home. He put her in contact with the community oriented support team (the ones she refused at her last discharge) again. Both the social worker and I have told him we don't think she'll ever be stable enough to live on her own, but he didn't care. As the social worker so aptly stated "He didn't hear you, did he?" when I filled her in on my conversation with him.

Peanut is amazing. He's a ball of energy and attitude. We have the nicest snuggles and the best conversations.

We're in bed and Daddy farts.

Me "Phew."

Peanut "What's dat? What's stinky?"

Me "Daddy farted."

P "Daddy stinky. Daddy big stinky."

M "Is Mommy stinky?"

P "NO! Daddy stinky. Not little stinky, BIG stinky!"


Yesterday, he and Daddy called me from the park.

"Mommy, I flying. I Superman. Up and awaaaaay! You coming home?"

M "I'm at work. I'll be home after work."

P (with a smile in his voice) "Tah-night?!!"

Monday, October 01, 2007

My birthday present from Mom was a voice message the day before. Something about how badly she's doing and wouldn't be able to call me on the actual day, so happy birthday anyway. No one at work knew or remembered it, so I let it go. A coworker's birthday was the week before mine and another person brought in cake and coffee to celebrate. Maybe next year a drop a few hints.

I did receive several nice phone calls from my parents and Hubby's parents. When Hubby explained to Peanut it was Mommy's birthday, he asked for cake. Right on!

In good/bad news, the camper went back to the manufacturer for repairs. We noticed a musty smell during our ill-fated last trip and Hubby thought there was more warping (it came with some warping which we assumed was from humidity). When Hubby brought it back from the mechanic, one of the tail lights didn't work. He pulled up the interior carpeting and saw all sorts of water damage and mold. Apparently the back hatch door doesn't line up with the opening and rain is getting in. The company was making a delivery in our state, so they sent the truck to our town and Hubby drove the camper to them. Apparently some other people with the same model year had serious water damage and received new replacement campers. A new one would be awesome, but we'll be happy if they replace all the damaged and mildewed parts. And fix the leak.

The grand finale of the week, though, was me getting rear-ended Friday morning. Luckily it was after I dropped Peanut off. I was stopped at a traffic light and just after it turned green, BAM! The other driver admitted it was his fault and we exchanged info. At first it looked like just the hitch and bumper were damaged. I found out otherwise later that night when the hatch wouldn't open with keyless entry. I managed to open it using the key, loaded my groceries and went home. Once at home, I couldn't get it to shut.

The other driver's insurance company has been interesting. I called Friday night with the claim info (which Hubby got from the other driver) and notified them of the damages. The rep was helpful and entered everthing into the system. He told me the claims people would call the next day and gave me a number. When they hadn't called an hour before closing, I called them. That rep was not so nice or helpful. According to her, we could only have our car inspected, but not assessed, nor could we get a rental because fault had not yet been assigned (bullshit). I didn't want to drive the car and in order for them to send an adjuster to us, we had to give them a 4-day window. (I don't believe it. Years ago, when Mom had a fender-bender with my old car, my insurance company made an appointment for the adjuster to come to my house. And that car was driveable.) Hubby spoke to another rep today and it was a whole different story. Our car has been inspected, is at the mechanic's, and Hubby is driving a rental. I guess it all depends on who you speak to.

The mom situation is crazy, too. More on that later.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mom got her wish and will go to the state hospital. The residential program backed out, vaguely citing something about medical issues as their excuse. This was after the court order. We went back to court this week and she was ordered into the state hospital. No one wants her there, but it's all that's left. She'll probably stay in the crisis unit for a couple of months until a bed opens up. The psychiatrist estimates Mom will be at the state hospital for 1-2 months before they discharge her. They deal with the worst-case patients and she's not one of them.

She claims she's not sleeping at all. She looks terrible, but I have no idea if it's the truth. She told me she wasn't eating at all, but her records indicate she eats an average of 60-80% of the food offered to her. I bluntly asked about her insomnia and she got angry that I accused her of lying. Well, you can only cry wolf so many times before people doubt you. She's manipulative and I don't know what's true anymore.
Hubby and I named our car the Bad Luck Car. I rear-ended someone last winter. He ran off-road to avoid rear-ending someone a couple of months ago. Both were minor accidents. The guy I rear-ended had an older car and didn't want to report it. Bad Luck Car ended up with some bumper damage. Hubby's accident resulted in some dents and scratches, but again, nothing big.

Today I was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light that had just turned green. I think the guy behind me was in a hurry and hit the gas before the rest of us started moving. We did exchange info, but I haven't called anyone other than Hubby yet (and that was to get cop advice). The hitch is bent and the bumper is scratched. It looks fairly minor, but who knows.

They say bad things come in 3s. I hope this is it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The hearing went well. The public defender insisted on speaking with Mom privately and she apparently agreed that she needs to go into residential treatment. She'll be transferred sometime within the next couple of weeks.

I had a long talk with the psychiatrist. She and the hospital are doing all the can, but Mom simply refuses to do anything that will help herself. Once her stay at the residential facility is over, anything can happen. They can't force her into an ALF or group home, so she could wind up on her own again. According to the doctor, Mom's fantasy is for me to quit working so she can live with us and I can be with her 24/7. Mom needs to somehow get out of the fantasy world and learn to cope with reality. Even if I could afford to quit my job, I could not take on the role of her caretaker. It's too heavy a burden. The doctor reminded me that Mom is not my responsibility and that my birth did not obligate me to provide unrealistic care.

The doctor also stated several times that roughly 15-20% of people with Mom's condition commit suicide. She stated that it's a possibility with Mom. It was a terrible thing to hear, but I'm glad she's honest. If Mom continues to refuse treatment, she will eventually end up in another situation where she can harm herself. Years ago, when I took the Family-to-Family class offered by NAMI, they discussed the mortality (morbidity?) rates associated with various mental disorders. Those numbers are all too real. I keep praying that she'll find a way out of despair, find a way to fight the illness, find ways to cope with her anxiety and depression.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I spoke with the hospital's head of mental health services. It looks like they did everything by the book when Mom was discharged. Mom said she didn't want them to call or "bother" me. Since she is competent, they couldn't go against her wishes. Ironically, she's still "competent" even though she's convinced she'll never get better, wants to die, and would most likely harm herself again if left alone.

My paperwork to become a Guardian Advocate will go before the judge tomorrow. The hospital will also try to have her ordered back into the residential treatment facility. I will attend the hearing in case they need a statement. The judge or public defender may not agree that it's in Mom's best interest. I will tell them otherwise.

***

Peanut was so sweet yesterday. He spotted my walking down the hall to his classroom. When I got there, he hugged my legs and exclaimed "I'm so happy to see you, Mommy!" Later in the evening he told me "I love you so much!"

I really need to watch what I say around him. I couldn't find a pen at the bank drive-up window and muttered "Oh, dammit." Peanut repeated it. I explained that it was a bad word and neither he nor I should say it. Oops.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Peanut started using his potty this weekend! He peed in it 4 times on Saturday and 5 times on Sunday. I couldn't believe it! I put him on the potty as soon as we got out of bed Saturday morning, when I knew he had a full bladder. The look on his face when he realized he was PEEING IN THE POTTY! was priceless. He was proud. I was proud. We clapped and yay-ed. He ceremoniously flushed his pee down the big potty. We called Daddy on the speakerphone so Peanut could make the big announcement. Peanut was rewarded with M&Ms and a lollipop.

And last night he told me when he needed to use the potty!

This morning, a daycare morning, was another story. I think we'll do better tonight when he's feeling happier. As for pooping, well it's going to take a while. He still likes to hide in a corner or under the table and tells me "Leave me 'lone, Mommy. Go in da kitchen."

I'm so proud of my little guy!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I received a call from Mom’s house – my work phone has caller ID. I couldn’t understand who would be calling from her place. It was Mom telling me she loved me and goodbye. That she had “done it” this time. I asked what she did. She took a bottle of pills. Enough, she claimed, to finish the job. I asked her to stay on the phone while I called 911 from the other line. She didn’t want me to call. We said more I love you’s and she hung up. I called 911 and an ambulance and deputy were dispatched.

While driving to the hospital, the same thoughts played in a loop. Will she be conscious when I get there? In a coma? Will I be making funeral arrangements?

She had been there less than 30 minutes when I arrived, so I had to wait. Finally, I was allowed back. She was on a gurney in the hall, conscious but groggy. She whispered “I want to die” over and over. Her nurse looked familiar, eventually I realized she’s a friend of a friend and I re-introduced myself. She remembered me and was friendlier and more informative after that. Mom was given charcoal to drink, in addition to the fluids they were pumping in by IV. I stayed a while and left when they needed to take samples and do testing.

She’s on a medical floor now. She took Tylenol (the doctor estimated 50-60 pills). They’re still giving medicine in an attempt to prevent liver damage. They won’t know for a day or two if/how much damage she caused. She’s scared. I’m scared.

I spent yesterday leaving messages and waiting to hear from the hospital. I finally got in contact with the mental health floor supervisor in the late afternoon. Apparently Mom refused to go to therapy meetings (again) and the doctor said if she continued to refuse, Mom would be discharged. Mom still refused. They made an outpatient plan and sent an outpatient care team to assess Mom. Mom refused the assessment. Mom made a phone call (they assumed to me, but I don’t know who she called), they put her in a cab, and sent her home.

I understand that by law they can only do so much, especially with a voluntary patient, and that a patient’s privacy is protected by HIPAA. But they could not sufficiently explain to me how a patient who was involuntarily admitted for an overdose (albeit not enough to be lethal), was downgraded to voluntary within a couple of days, was moved onto the “suicide” hall a few days later, then discharged under her own care with no family knowledge two days later. They couldn’t explain why at the least a social worker or nurse didn’t contact me or why they didn’t have her transferred someplace else.

I spoke next with the head of mental health services. She seemed to take my concerns seriously and is looking into them. Mom is currently under Baker Act and will be on the medical floor for at least a couple more days. She doesn’t know if Mom will go into their psych unit, but is doing what she can to ensure Mom receives the care she needs and isn’t discharged without appropriate planning.
Our camping trip turned out great, especially since it almost didn’t happen.

About 2 hours into our drive, we stopped for lunch. As we pulled through the drive-through, one of the wheels hit a cement post protecting the restaurant’s corner. It was LOUD. We pulled around to the parking lot and Hubby assessed the damage. The impact was enough to bend the camper’s axle and wheel was angled outward. He called AAA while Peanut and I went inside for lunch. Peanut was wearing his Superman shirt (what else) and the ladies were so sweet to him. They made sure to find Superman and Validus to go in our h@ppy me@ls. (Peanut already had one of each, but I didn’t have the heart to say anything. They knew he liked super heroes and went the extra mile to find toys they thought he would like.) Hubby eventually came in and tried to eat. AAA will only tow a camper or trailer if the vehicle originally towing it is broken down. He called the camper manufacturer, ordered a new axle, and we decided to attempt going on. Hubby also noticed that the plastic roof vent cover had shattered and come off in the parking lot. (This was unrelated to the accident. I noticed a small crack in the cover a while back. UV light is tough on plastics.)

We got back onto the interstate, then took the next exit to check the tires. Rubber was coming off the tire in little balls. We stopped again a few exits later and the wear didn’t seem as noticeable. We said our prayers and continued on our way, with Hubby keeping an eye on the tire in the side mirror. We made it to the exit for the state park and Hubby noticed a lot of wear when we stopped at a traffic light. We pulled into a parking lot and realized the tire was worn down to the belts. Our car’s jack miraculously worked on the camper, and for some reason Hubby had thought to bring the tire iron from our other car. Peanut and I walked around and and made several stops to look at a polka-dot wasp moth while Hubby changed the tire.

We arrived safely at the campground and walked down to the river to unwind and give Peanut a change to burn off some energy. We saw a sheriff’s office boat and a huge freighter, both of which Peanut loved. We headed back to camp to get the screen room set up and to start dinner. We didn’t finish cooking until dark and by the time we ate, a possum and a raccoon had stopped by to check things out. Dinner was delicious.

I cleaned up and left a crusty pan to soak. Peanut started getting bored, so we got ready for bed, climbed in the camper, and played a DVD. That’s when the raccoon decided to really check things out. I found it with its paws in the dish water. I dumped everything out and locked the dirty pan in the galley. Shortly after lights out, we could hear raccoons on the camper. This went on all night and I even had a dream that they got into our coolers and dragged our food all over the campground. Morning revealed our coolers were still intact and bungeed to the camper, covered in muddy little pawprints.

We went to a mechanic recommended by the rangers and arranged to drop the camper off on Sunday. (Hubby has since arranged to have the axle shipped directly to them. They will also sell us a new tire.) The rest of the day was fun. We saw the Amelia Island lighthouse and several little crabs. We visited the riverside beach. We also went to the Atlantic beach and fishing pier. The water was rough (we later found out about the tropical storm off the Carolinas) and Peanut was scared, so we played in the sand and only went into the shallow water. Peanut loved the fishing pier and would have been happy to help the folks who were fishing.

After a nap, Peanut and I went back down to the river while Hubby started supper. This time we ate well before dark. We went back to the river at sunset to enjoy the scenery and saw several bats! While Peanut played with his flashlight, we noticed schools of fish in the water. When we shined (shone?) the beam at the right angle, we could see their shimmering bodies.

Peanut wasn’t into hanging out in the screen room after dark, so we took showers and retired to the camper. Shortly after lights-out, we heard the raccoons again. This time there was a suspicious ripping sound. The garbage bag was within their reach, and one stood up and tore it open. Hubby peaked out his door and saw five masked bandits pawing through our trash. We both got out and watched the show. Those furry guys were brazen. They worked at our coolers throughout the night, but weren’t able to get in.

After breakfast, we broke down camp. A couple of our neighbors came over and informed us they lost 32 ears of corn and 6 pounds of sausage to the raccoons during the night...I'm so glad they weren't able to get into our food. We dropped the camper off at the mechanic’s, then returned to see the fort. I can’t imagine sleeping on the cots those poor soldiers had. Even worse, the enlisted men had to share a latrine – a bunch of small pits in a row without seats. I imagine the smell must have been awful in the summer. At least the officers had their own private latrines with seats. The cannons were impressive. The hospital area and supply rooms were neat, too.

We all started getting hot and decided to call it a day. We piled back into the car and had an uneventful trip home.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I pulled a tiny tick off Peanut. Hubby noticed it earlier in the day and didn’t know what it was. It looked like a bit of sand or shell, which we’re still picking off ourselves from this weekend. I grew up in the Lyme disease capitol of the world, so anything tick-like is carefully scrutinized. I told Peanut it was a “bad buggy” as I yanked it off. The nasty little thing left a little welt on his thigh. We followed up with thorough tick checks of one another.

Peanut spent the rest of the night telling us he had bad ants in his diaper. I’m glad he took it all in stride.

(I’ll be on the lookout for fever, aches, and rash over the next several days. Me, paranoid? Absolutely.)
I had the weirdest dream last night...

We are living in our old place. Hubby notices lights and sirens down by the road, and a call for help comes over the radio. He grabs his gear and leaves to assist the other cop.

All of a sudden, it’s night and pitch black. Peanut and I are hiding in a bedroom behind a piece of furniture as two armed men are searching our house. I cover his mouth with my hand to keep him from crying. One of the men hears him and notices us. I prop Hubby’s backup weapon on the table we’re hiding behind and shoot both men twice in the chest before they can shoot us. I grab Peanut, put him in the front seat with the seatbelt and drive to Hubby. A third man follows us. We get to Hubby and I wake up. Strange. But I think Hubby would be proud that I protected Peanut.

Monday, September 10, 2007

We had a great time camping over the weekend. More on that later.

I visited Mom last night. They moved her to the suicide watch section at some point over the weekend. She was threatening to hurt herself. She's a mess - not wanting to get out of bed, wanting to give up and die, refusing to attend group therapy sessions. She's convinced that her next stop is the state hospital. If she doesn't improve, it may be. I'll take with her social worker again today.

***

Peanut told Hubby he had a dirty diaper and needed to be changed. When Hubby got to him, he had a poopy diaper pulled down around his ankles. We're definitely making some slow progress.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I visited Mom last night. She's depressed and very anxious, but seemed a little better. We talked for a little while until she needed to lie down. According to Mom, the doctor is at a loss as far as long-term treatment. She has the kickass social worker again, but I haven't gotten in touch with her yet.

***

Peanut had a rough time with "my tummy hurt" and a fever. Hubby is home with him today and he seems to be almost over it.

We're still making little progress in potty training, but he had a couple of "ah-ha" moments this weekend. While I was busy scrubbing the floor on Sunday, he told me he was going to the "baffroom". Something set off my Mom-dar and I went to check. He had his pull-up down around his ankles with a big load inside. I wiped him off and made a big show of dumping the poop in the big potty.

During his bath on Sunday he got up on all fours and peed into the tub. I asked if he wanted to sit on the potty and he agreed. He tried so hard to pee some more.

Maybe, just maybe, we're getting somewhere.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Things went downhill after the cat scare.

Mom called the mental health hotline on Friday. They sent a crisis team out to see her and contacted me.

Peanut and I visited Mom Saturday morning. She said she needed to go to the hospital. I convinced her to call the crisis line again and we both spoke with the counselor. We had to use my cell phone because her phone line has so much static that she can’t hear to have conversations on it. The phone company’s test indicated the problem was on her end, but I still heard static at the outdoor test jack. They wouldn’t send anyone until the end of this week. I wasn’t comfortable with her being alone, especially without a working phone. She and the cats came home with me. I told her I would take her to the hospital after Hubby came home from work. By evening she felt a little better and decided to wait.

She didn’t want to get out of bed on Sunday. She wanted to go to the hospital as soon as I got up. I needed to get Peanut fed and dressed first. By the time we were ready, Mom changed her mind. She felt like she would die if she went to the hospital because they would never let her out. She remained in bed for the rest of the day only getting up for an occasional glass of water or trip to the bathroom. When I wasn’t playing with Peanut or taking care of him, I was on my hands and knees scrubbing grout. I needed something physical to take my mind off Mom. The grout has gone from dirty dark brown to almost white. She did eat a little bit of dinner and made a little bit of conversation with us.

Monday was the same, except she didn’t want to go to the hospital or call the crisis line since “they don’t help.” Hubby, Peanut and I went out for lunch and to do a little shopping (a sanity-saver for me after 2 days on Mom watch). I checked on Mom when we got home. She admitted to taking 5 Klonopin pills in the time we were gone. She’s supposed to take a maximum of 3 per day. At first she stated she was trying to hurt herself, then she said she only wanted to take enough to sleep, then she said she would have taken more if we had come home later. I took the bottle away and Hubby called work to request a unit to come to our house. Luckily, one of Hubby’s good friends responded and Mom was Baker Acted.

***

Now the fun begins. I must get in touch with the hospital as well as the folks from the crisis line/non-profit who handled Mom’s residential treatment and is supposed to be handling her outpatient treatment. I need to figure out where she’ll go when she gets out. I think she’s past the point of safely living alone. As I see it, she needs to be in a group home or with us if we can arrange some sort of home health care, at least on the days that both Hubby and I are working, but I don’t know if that would work as a permanent solution.

I am fed up with mediocre mental health care. I realize that the non-profit is underfunded and understaffed, but I can’t understand how they would release someone like my mom, even if she seemed stable, only to make her wait 6 weeks for a psych appointment. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Mom called on Wednesday, crying hysterically. The cable guy must have left her door ajar and my cat got out. (She took one of my cats along with hers when she moved.) She couldn’t find him and panicked. I told her to put out some food and to go out every hour or so and call him. He’s done this several times at home and usually is back by dark or early the next morning. She phoned several more times during the day to tell me he wasn’t back. Hubby even drove through her neighborhood to look for the cat.

The cat turned up yesterday morning and was happy to see Mom. He most likely spent the night hiding under her trailer to avoid the local population of ferals.

I warned her several times about his sneakiness. She should have contained him before the cable guy arrived, but instead put full blame on the cable dude. That is why we don’t leave Peanut alone with her. He’s much more capable of sneaking out and she lives about 300 feet from a large lake with alligators. And she still hounds me to babysit him.

***

Today she called my work in tears. She claims she's as depressed/anxious now as she was in the hospital. Apparently her worry over the cat catalyzed her crash. I told her to call the outpatient clinic. G*d, I can't deal with this again. I thought she'd make for for a few months, at least.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Peanut and I saw a police car with its lights on this morning. As we got closer, I realized it was Hubby and he appeared to be writing a ticket. Peanut was excited to see the lights and asked where the fire truck and ambulance were. He didn’t recognize Hubby and didn’t ask to stop. Whew. Once he was ensconced at daycare, I called Hubby to make sure he was OK. The phone rang several times and was answered by someone definitely not Hubby. I know I dialed his number because it’s programmed into my phone and the number was correctly displayed. The poor guy probably thinks I’m insane.

I paged Hubby, but later realized I entered HIS phone number. I’m also not sure if it’s still his pager number. He lost one pager years ago and I don’t know if he kept the same number. Obviously I don’t page him very often.

We had the same problem over the weekend when I realized Hubby forgot his wallet in his hurry to pick up our friend and rent a moving truck. I called several times and each call either went to another voicemail or was answered by the other man. Hubby later called and spoke to the man, explained the situation, found out his phone number, and put in a work order with our cell company (which rhymes with SmallHell).

Hubby is in court this morning, so I called SmallHell. We have cool VOIP (or whatever they are) phones at work that display all sorts of neat info – directory, calls placed, calls received, calls missed, etc. It also displays how long each call lasts. It took me 2 friggin’ minutes to get through AllHell’s automated crap before putting me on hold to speak to a real person. WTF?

The rep was very helpful and nice. She had a record of Saturday’s service request, but nothing was done with it. She did some techie stuff and discovered Hubby’s phone has been set to forward to this other number when he doesn’t answer. My name is not on the account, so I could not authorize them to turn off the call forwarding (even though I could provide our names and the last 4 of Hubby’s social). Whatever. I explained that Hubby’s in court and won’t be answering his phone, so she sent a text message for him to call her…you know since voice mails go to the other guy. She had a great sense of humor.

She said he probably did an accidental forward, that it happens frequently. I’m not so sure, since Hubby is tech-savvy and I can’t see him accidentally forwarding to a stranger’s number. That’s more likely something I would do. He has used the forwarding service in the past without trouble. It’s possible that Peanut somehow did it, but he’s a genius toddler if he managed to push the correct sequence of buttons to forward to a functioning number. Option 3 is that AllHell somehow effed up our account. This would not be a surprise as it took Hubby 3 weeks to get our “Friends & Family Network” up and running. You’re supposed to enter the contacts in via their website, which gave error messages, even after 2 weeks’ worth of daily phone calls to reps and promises of “it’ll be fixed tomorrow”. A rep finally gave in and manually entered the numbers for him.

I’m amused by the whole thing and wonder if we’ll find out how it happened.

***

Update: Hubby called. He thought the page was someone at work pulling a prank and called dispatch to see if anyone was trying to contact him. I had to explain the text message because his display is cracked and has a huge dead spot. Which I knew about but forgot. I'm not running on all cylinders today.

I'm also having difficulty spelling. I need sleep.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mom is officially moved into her new place. Hubby and a friend moved the heavy stuff while Peanut and I supervised (got in the way) and Mom told everyone what to do and also got in the way. As soon as the guys opened the truck door, Mom began complaining about the way they loaded the truck. She also expected them to haul some things to the dump, something I’m not even sure we’re allowed to do (permit needed?) She got pissed about that and I informed her that if she’s so unhappy with our moving skills, she can hire professionals next time. This is the third time we’ve moved her stuff in 7 months. I don’t want to hear any complaints.

Peanut fell/rolled down her stairs (only 2 of them, thank goodness) onto the driveway resulting in boo-boos on his nose and next to his eye. Much crying was involved. Again she jumped all over me, wanted to take him from me, offering him milk-soda-juice-water. I finally told her to back off. I don’t want food to become a necessary part of comfort and I hate having my parenting/comforting abilities messed with. (This is a BIG issue for me. When Peanut was a newborn, Hubby and his mom would jump in and hold him any time he cried. Hubby often would take him from me. Guess who Peanut wants for comfort 90% of the time. Hint: not me.)

We eventually got all the furniture crammed into her place, some of it relegated to the porch. While arranging the living room, Hubby’s friend discovered a soft spot in Mom’s floor. As in he nearly put a foot through her floor. Mom was not concerned and insisted on the recliner going in the spot. All three of us told her it was a BAD IDEA. She eventually conceded to moving it a few feet over. Her ceiling is a patchwork of watermarks, so the weakened floor is no big surprise. I guess the water damage wasn’t as minor as we originally thought. Knowing Mom, she’ll do nothing about it. There is staining along the baseboard along one of her spare bedroom walls. I didn’t think to check there, but it’s another potential weak spot.

As we were leaving, we got into an argument over a piece of furniture. Childish and stupid, I know, but I’m fed up with her condescending, righteous attitude.

Sunday was much better. We got up early and went to the zoo. We let Peanut run around and be the boss of where we went. We were disappointed that the new the bats are still under quarantine, but were able to see all the other animals including “his” rhino and manatees. The stingrays were a big hit and he was able to “pet” several of them. He remembered one of the restaurants and requested ice cream, resulting in an ice cream and french fry lunch for him and a somewhat healthier lunch for us grownups. He was a little sad when we left, but had such an active day, he was ready to go home.

We talked about our day at bedtime and asked what he liked/didn’t like at the zoo. His favorites where the rhinos and giraffes. Disliked were the bad gators with big teeth. I love those conversations.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I’m pretty sure Peanut has night terrors. He frequently “wakes up” crying hysterically – he opens his eyes, but seems unaware of us. When we talk to or pat him, it often stirs him up even more. Occasionally he will wake up and stop crying, but usually he’ll just slowly stop crying and fall back into calm sleep. One time, he woke up, told Hubby he had a bad dream, then fell back asleep. I wonder what his nightmares involve. I know he’s afraid of thunder, sharks, bad robots, Frank and Banshee (from the movie “Cars”), and our garage. We usually try to talk about happy things at bedtime with the hope he’ll fall asleep to happy thoughts.

He was so sweet Sunday morning. He woke up and snuggled with me (something he rarely does anymore). He put his arm around my neck, gave me kisses, and rubbed my arm to “keep Mommy warm” (he usually gets cold after a bath, so I wrap him in a towel and rub his arms and legs to warm him up).

After breakfast, we fed the ducks and went to the playground. He spent about half of the time on a swing. I pushed him so he went fast, then would tickle his legs or grab his ankles and jiggle him. He laughed and laughed. As he was swinging he told me he was Superman in a fast rocket and that he had good robots helping him.

This morning he (Superman) and Daddy (the bad guy) had an epic battle. Superman finally defeated the bad guy with his heat vision. Then he flew around the house and saved an airplane from crashing.

Toddler imaginations are awesome (when they're not creating terrifying dreams)!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Even though I gripe and moan about Mom and make fun of her, I’m very sad about the whole situation. Bitching and joking helps me to cope. But deep down, I mourn the loss of my mom as she used to be. You’d think that after these past 8 years (when things have really gone downhill with her) I’d be over it. I’m not.

Last night, Hubby and I lay in bed and talked. He vented about the past couple of days with Mom. He spent nearly 8 hours on Wednesday driving her all over town. Because of her oopsie with the key, he picked Peanut up 2 hours later than planned and it really bothered him (this is one of Hubby’s “long” weeks where he works 60 hours.) Mom’s response of “Well, it doesn’t matter” pissed him off and she has no clue. It may not have mattered to her, but Hubby wanted to spend a few precious extra hours with Peanut. Hubby was home again yesterday and although he did no chauffeuring, Mom couldn’t even help by watching Peanut for 30 minutes while Hubby cleaned out and filled the kiddie pool. She brought Peanut outside and claimed she needed to put her feet up because of the swelling (which didn’t impede her from taking a walk in the evening.)

Hubby and I are sick of her selfishness, her inability to see how her requests/demands put strains on us. Of her telling Hubby “not to be so sensitive” when he expresses anger at a day of futilely driving her back and forth across town.

While Hubby vented last night, I went from angry at her to sad. Sad that I’ll never again have a “normal” mother-daughter relationship. Although Mom is mostly able to take care of herself, I’m still, in many ways, responsible for her. I worry about her as a parent worries about their child.

I know I need to let go, but I wish so much that she could again be a mother to me. And be a grandparent to my child. I wish I could call her up when I had a problem and have her help me, hold me, bake a batch of cookies, or whatever she used to do. Instead, it turns around into what’s bad in her life and I feel guilty for dumping on her. She’s fragile and I’m afraid I’ll break her weak grasp on stability by loading my troubles on top of hers. I wish I could drop Peanut off for a few hours and go out with Hubby, get my hair cut, go to the bookstore, or take a nap. But I will not feel safe leaving him alone with her (for more than a 20 minute run to the store) until he is old enough to look out for himself.

Last night also got me thinking about Hubby’s mom and how I feel shorted by her. I know she loves us and does her best. She’s so worn out taking care of the rest of the family that she has little left for us, or herself. And I resent it. She’s been spending 2-3 weeks a month at one sister’s house to take care of the kids until SIL and BIL are again stationed in the same location. This has been going on for over a year and a half. When she’s home, she babysits various grandkids, great-grandkids, and extended family. I wish she would come and stay with us for a week or two and give Hubby and me some respite. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel she owes us this. She doesn’t. But it’s hard to sit back and see how much she does to help her other kids while we’re struggling.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

MSNBeeCee ran a story this week titled “High-Tech Abuse Worse Than Ever”. The article illustrates how spyware and GPS devices can be used by abusive partners to stalk and further abuse/terrorize their victims. One woman’s story is included: Leah was physically abused for years, her husband monitored her cell phone use, installed spyware on their computer, and hid a hidden GPS unit in her car. He claimed her visits to certain websites proved she was cheating and then beat her. She and her child eventually got away and are in hiding. She is very cautious about electronics and makes sure information about herself and her child are not easily tracked.

This story did not claim all abusers are men. It did not state that she was cheating and therefore deserved her husband’s mistrust (and even if she was cheating, she does not deserve to be beaten or stalked).

There are well over a 1000 comments on this story. I haven’t (and won’t) read all of them. But I saw a disturbing theme in the comments. Comments implying that she must have been cheating and therefore deserved what she got. That it was her fault for not leaving. That all women are cheaters. That the article is feminist propaganda. That women really run America and men are the victims. That women fake dv and their poor, innocent husbands end up arrested and lose their kids. The hatred for women was incredible.

I’m not saying all the comments are like this, because they aren’t. There are plenty that condemn violence and explain just how hard it is for a person to leave an abuser, especially if children are involved. Some comments pointed out the yes, men can fall victim to women abusers. Sometimes women do lie about abuse. But does that make all women lying cheaters? Nowhere in the article or comments did I see the implication that all men are abusive; just that men are more frequently the abuser than the abused.

The dynamics of the comments were fascinating to me in a horrifying way. I can’t believe how many people feel that Leah was playing the victim because she stayed or that she must have been cheating – why else would her ex have used spyware? The “women are all lying cheating whores” comments painted all women with the same brush. Meanwhile the “I/someone I know was a victim of similar abuse” generally did not pain all men as scumbags, although several did state they were now mistrustful or would not get involved in another relationship. Interesting and scary.
This from yesterday:

Poor dear Hubby is having another rough day with Mom. He got fed up with her rudeness and told her that demanding to be taken places wouldn’t get her very far and he would appreciate it if she would ask or at least say please. So she argued that she had in fact asked to go to the bank rather than the “take me to the bank now” that he heard.

She insisted on going to Taaaarget for a new phone even though she has one boxed away in her stuff. Her argument: the phone will be turned on this week and she’s been giving her number out. Hubby pointed out that a phone can’t take messages. She insisted she needed it TODAY.

Once they arrived at the store, Hubby said he needed to pick up some things while she shopped, but she asked him to stay with her and she would go with him after she finished. Several minutes later, he tells her he wants to go look at some things, she again asks him to stay. This happens AGAIN. Once she’s finished, she says she’s going to get in line to pay. Hubby nearly has an aneurism since he could have done all his shopping in the time she looked at things, put them back, looked again…. In the car she realized she hadn’t gotten a phone.

Once they made it to the trailer park, Mom informed Hubby she needed to get a key from the manager. Hubby asked where her key was. She decided to leave it at home since the manager always has a spare. The manager was busy with a visitor – Mom never bothered to make an appointment with him. She eventually got the spare and it didn’t fit. Mom got angry at the manager. Hubby begrudgingly took her back to our house, got the key, drove back, and brought a carload of stuff into her new place.

I talked with her for a few minutes after I got home. I wanted to make sure she wasn't going to pull another "you have no idea how badly Hubby treats me" dealies. She was fine. She made sure to tell me she still blames the manager for having the wrong spare key.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hubby called after lunch yesterday. He and Mom supposedly had an understanding that his lunch break is his quiet time. She has forgotten that and was doing the manic fast-talk as soon as he got in the door. He responded by turning the tv up to ear drum rupturing loudness. She asked if it was necessary to put the tv up so loud. He responded that he couldn’t hear it otherwise. She took the hint and quieted down. For a little while, anyway.

Mom: “I want to make stuffed pork chops for dinner. Do you have any stale bread?”

Hubby: “No, only the fresh stuff.”

M “And you don’t have any breadcrumbs either. Will you be going by the store this afternoon? Will you be back by the house?”

H “I’m working. I can’t promise anything.”

M “How am I supposed to make the pork chops?”

H “Why don’t you make something with the ingredients we have.”

M “Do you have any potatoes.”

H “I’m not sure. We have instant ones that are pretty good.”

M “Oh, no. They have to be REAL.”

***
Last night: "I think I know why my leg is swelling. I have congestive heart failure."

Me: "Whatever, Mom. You're full of drama."

***
She repeatedly asks us to take her to look at a used bike (which I doubt she could even ride), take her to X store, or to Y location for some used furniture she doesn't need. We keep repeating that she should wait until she is moved in. She has some furniture in storage, the mobile home is partially furnished, and we have crap rapidly accumulating in our garage. One closet is packed with her stuff.

I'm sure she ask me again tonight when I get home.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mom decided to buy the mobile home in her old park. The price sounds fair, although I don’t know much about the worth of mobile homes. She and I took a look at it the other night. It’s a bit smaller than her old place, but should suit her. There’s a really nice semi-enclosed screen porch that will be perfect in cooler weather.

I still wish she had waited. Summer is a slow time for sales, so there's no hurry. There are a ton of places for sale, many of them closer to our house. They would be in Hubby's patrol area and he could check on her. It would mean we could drop off meds or take her to the grocery store without a drive across town. I know she wants to be close to her friend in the old park, but he's older than her and has health problems as well. I don't know how much longer he has. If something happens to him, she'll lose a big source of transit.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll be happy
Another interesting weekend is over.

Hubby and I dropped the newer aka Bad Luck car off for alignment and balancing. Hubby recently had a little off-roading experience with it to avoid rear-ending another car. He went through a ditch and jumped a driveway. Luckily, he wasn’t hurt. The car got a couple of minor scratches and developed vibration issues, hence the re-alignment. It’s the same car I was driving when I rear-ended someone a few months ago. I don’t know why, but we’ve both had several other near misses with it as well.

On our way back to the house, I commented that our old car is due for a new battery. It’s been slow to start and sometimes does the dead battery click-click-click at startup.

I picked up Mom and took her out to look for house wares. We stopped at a couple of stores and when we were ready to leave…click-click-click…click-click-click. Yep, the battery died a little faster than anticipated, on a day hotter than Hades. We went back into the store and I called Hubby, who was home with Peanut while Bad Luck car was still at the shop. His patrol car is off limits to anyone who is not a cop or in the backseat being transported to lockup. It doesn’t have a carseat anyway. He called an on-duty cop buddy who was able to come and jump my car.

When we got home, Mom told us she “had an accident” while we were at the last store and needed to change her pants. Yes, my mom shit her pants, did nothing about it, and announced it to us. She officially is a crazy old lady.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It’s only Day 4 of Mom staying with us and I’m ready to gouge my ears out.

She was annoyed with Hubby and me last night because we didn’t drive her across town (30 minutes) to see a mobile home in her old park. Hubby spent a good bit of yesterday shuttling her to doctor and lab appointments with cranky Peanut in tow while I was at work. He called me while they were waiting at the pharmacy – Peanut was in his carseat screaming for Gramma so they could go home. Twenty minutes later, Mom came out and informed Hubby they wouldn’t have her prescription until later in the day. I picked it up on my way home while Hubby escaped to the grocery store.

She “emptied the dishwasher” which involved putting away the flatware and glasses and putting just about everything else on the counters since she didn’t know the stuff went and looking in the cabinets was too difficult. We appreciate that she wants to help, but some things end up being more of a hassle than a help.

Last night she pulled her old passive aggressive crap on Hubby who was up late playing on the computer. “Don’t you think you should go to bed so you can get up early? I want to be at the lab first thing in the morning.” Because dropping his mother-in-law off at the blood lab at the ass-crack of dawn is exactly what Hubby wants to do on his freakin’ birthday. Once he dropped her off, she wanted him and Peanut to wait until she was finished and her friend came to meet her.

She’s been doling out lots of parenting advice. This morning’s gem to Hubby was “Do you really need to do that?” as he wrangled a screaming Peanut into position to brush his teeth. Did I mention she wears dentures?

She’s back to hounding us to babysit Peanut. (I have lost count of how many times we’ve beaten that dead horse.) This morning she admitted she’s rapid cycling, but that won’t stop her. Her physical limitations don’t instill confidence in her child caring capabilities, either. One minute she can barely move from the pain in her leg, and the next minute she wants to give Peanut a bath.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I’ve wanted to blog the past several days, but things suddenly got hectic.

Mom called Wednesday night with the news of her impending release on Saturday. So much for talking with the social worker before they let her out. So much for the list of affordable apartment complexes as well. Not that it really matters because I think she’d pull another freakout if she moved into an apartment. I have a feeling she’d have a repeat of her “move” to assisted living.

Peanut started running a low grade fever while home with Hubby on Thursday. It spiked to 103 at 4:30 am Friday when Hubby got up for work. We loaded him up with Motrin and I shuffled out to the kitchen to call the direct line to my boss’s voicemail. After an hour or so, Peanut and I got back to sleep. I hemmed and hawed and finally called the ped’s office in the afternoon. They decided to see him given his history of ear infections and strep. He had a MAJOR freakout at the doctor’s office. I had to hold him on the scale and the measuring device. He refused the oral thermometer, so he got stuck with a rectal one. (Amid screams of “No bummy! No my bum! I want Daddy!”) Once the nurse left, he begged to leave and said something about his bum. He was slimy from lube and insisted on having it wiped. Many repeats of “My bum slimy.” When the doctor came in, he had a freakout take 2 and was noncompliant with everything. He clamped both hands over his mouth and wouldn’t let her look in. His ears were fine and she ended up having to do a throat swab since he wouldn’t open/hold still for her to look. It took 3 of us to hold him down long enough for her to shove the swab in. It was negative, of course.

I continued alternating Motrin and Tylenol until bedtime when Peanut’s temp spiked to 104 - on Tylenol. Hubby and I got scared and he called the ped’s office. The on-call nurse was wonderful (on-call is handled by nearby Big City Children’s Hospital) and said to go ahead with Motrin, ditch the Tylenol and hang tight unless fever went up to 105. Motrin and a damp washcloth to the forehead worked, and Peanut’s temp went down to 102-103. We got some fitful sleep.

By morning, his fever was low again, so I held off on medicating him. We picked up Mom, got lunch, ran a few errands so she could pick up some stuff, then Peanut and I took a 3 hour nap. Bliss. Mom informed me she has painful edema on one leg and foot. The mental hospital staff were aware of it, but somehow the LPN never got around to seeing Mom. They told her to go to the ER if it got worse, otherwise to see her doctor as soon as she could. Thanks for the excellent medical care.

Hubby and I didn’t f*ck around and gave Peanut pre-emptive Motrin at bedtime. His temp had crept back up around 101 and we didn’t want a repeat of the previous night.

Hubby came home early on Sunday to burn up some overtime and we tried to get a nap with Peanut who talked, thrashed, bounced, sat up, and was otherwise very annoying for an hour until we gave up and put him in his room. Screaming/crying ensued and Mom started in on me. I told her to please not mess with our parenting.

“Let me go get him. He’s miserable.”

“No, Mom, we told him if he wouldn’t sleep in our bed he needed to go to his bed. He’s sick and needs a nap.”

“Well, he really should sleep in his own bed.”

“Yes, Mom, I know. But this is what we go through when we put him in his bed.”

She called around about some mobile homes and the owner of one place came to get her so she could see it. Hubby and I were too pooped to take her. It’s also in one of the worst parts of town, is very cheap, and we have a feeling it’s not the place for her. The super-low price doesn’t give a feeling of confidence in its structural integrity. She bugged us all evening to go see it. We compromised by driving her around to a couple of parks closer to our house. One is in the county, so we’re not sure if she can get transportation. The other is in the city limits, so she could definitely get transportation, but she wrote if off as “too expensive” without seeing any prices. I wrote several phone numbers down just in case. She’s all gung ho over a shithole in crank central, but won’t make any effort over a decent park that’s convenient to us, her pharmacy, and the bus.

Peanut fell asleep in the car, so Hubby stopped to feel his forehead. Just to make sure he wasn’t burning up. Mom got all on his shit “Can’t you just let him sleep?” Peanut didn’t even flinch. Gah, 36 hours and it’s started already…I’m sick of the freakin’ comments second-guessing our parenting skills.

Hubby has Mom at the doc's now. I hope the swelling isn't anything serious.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

At the playground

Monday, July 30, 2007

Last night…

“I wanna look at moon.”

I carry Peanut outside.

“Dere’s da moon. She’s shiny. We blast off rocket and touch moon. Mommy, Daddy Peanut, Lily, kitties. C’mon Daddy. C’mon Lily. C’mon kitties. Let’s go. Blast off rocket. Fly moon.”

I tell Peanut it’s time to go back inside.

“Goodnight moon. Goodnight airplane. Goodnight stars. Goodnight storms.”

Once we're inside, Hubby asks Peanut if he remembers the moon’s name.

“Lisa?”

We remind him that it’s Luna.

“Oooooh, dat’s right. Luna.”

***

This morning we saw clouds on the horizon...

“I see big clouds.”

“Yes, they’re fluffy.”

“They soft. They have big tummies.”

***

At an intersection…

“Left.”

“We have to go right.”

“Go left. No go school. Go backwards.”

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hubby is much happier to be on patrol. The stress is less, hours more predictable, and he feels like he’s making a difference rather than being involved after the fact. That’s not to say he didn’t feel satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment getting a confession from a killer, but by then someone is already dead.

His detective experience has made him more proactive as a beat cop. He often goes a little further in trying to find people or get info when he’s on a call. In the span of a week, he arrested two sets of kids for possession of guns. Who knows if they would have done anything with them, but he feels better that the guns were removed and the kids got a little scare into them.

He also helped prevent a murder (a man hid in a place he knew his ex would be and planned to snipe her) and arrested another man who assaulted his ex with the intent of killing her, but was unable to do it.

It worried me that he deals with shitbags like this on a daily basis - people do not value life. At the same time, it relieves me that he gets them off the streets. I hope the two men who planned murders go away for a long, long time.
We at chez selzach are not very religious folk. I waffle on my beliefs (was raised protestant, but am not sure if I believe in a higher power), Hubby believes in God, but isn't much on church. We occasionally make references to God and Peanut's daycare is run by a baptist church, so they have bible stories and say a blessing before lunch.

Hubby and I would like to teach him a prayer to say at night, but the only ones we know make strong references to death. "Now I lay me...." It's not something we really want to teach our toddler. I doubt he has any concept of death and it's not something we're in a hurry to explain.

I came across an adorable book of blessings, prayers and poems at Hallmark. Peanut loves to "read" it (look at the pictures). Most nights he gives me his dinosaur book while he reads the other one. I read one of the prayers to him, and he was interested.

"Mommy, where God live?"

"God lives in heaven."

"God is really big."

Wow. God is everything, so I guess you could say that.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The kitties have a new dog house for shelter. I don’t know why we didn’t think of it sooner!

The cats were banished to the back porch earlier this year after we got fed up with them peeing on the carpet in our office, occasionally spraying our living room furniture, and clawing holes in said carpet and furniture. The peeing had gotten out of control. We got to the point of laying plastic garbage bags in front of the litter boxes and we’d come home to puddles of urine on them. It was filthy.

The carpet still smells and I’m sure the only way we’ll ever get rid of the odor is to tear it out. We’ve probably spent $150 on various enzymatic cleaners with moderate success.

We love the cats, but couldn’t handle the mess, so out they went. We asked around if anyone wanted cat or 5, but had no takers and our local shelter has a 70-90% kill rate, so it wasn’t an option.

Our back porch is only screened, and Florida summers are full of violent thunderstorms. We placed several cat carriers out for shelter, but rain would blow in the openings. The poor things would get wet and scared. This weekend it hit me – why not buy a dog house?

The cats love it. They can lie on the roof and doze, and when the weather is bad most of them snuggle up together inside. Perfect!

We would eventually like to enclose the porch…if only the home improvement fairy would wave her wand! Maybe she’d replace the funky carpet, too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hubby’s return to patrol has increased his interactions with colorful people.

He recently arrested someone with a warrant for a decade of unpaid child support. The man claimed he was no longer a US citizen, had mailed his birth certificate to the Treasury Dept. and was now “sovereign’ because of his beefs with our government. Too bad that doesn’t exempt him from back support.

As Hubby was filling out the booking-in forms, he commented “So, you’re not a US citizen, right?” The guy got real quiet and nervous. “OK, I checked ‘not a citizen’. I hope you don’t get deported.”

We and several of Hubby’s co-workers had a good laugh over it.

On a serious note, the guy got what he deserved. I have no respect for men who refuse to support their children.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A little girl from Peanut’s daycare died last week following complications from nearly drowning. I’m heartbroken for the family. We didn’t know her, she was a year younger than Peanut and in a different room. We may have passed her in the mornings or evenings without realizing it. I may have smiled at her, not knowing she would soon be gone.

Hubby was working the day she was found. He was relieved he didn’t get the call. He’s been around so much death in the past two years and it affected him, us. Little did we know she was a school mate.

Daycare had a special memorial up today. Everyone was invited to write their wishes. What do you say? I wrote that I was sorry for their loss and wished them peace. It’s not enough, nothing is.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Peanut the photographer has been at it again.

One of the airplanes in his room:


A self-portrait:


Me in the shower (I'm so glad I haven't gotten around to de-scaling the glass.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cool! StaceyG considers me a





Thanks, Stacey!

These are 5 bloggers who I think fit the bill:

Mommymatic who can take the mundane and make it hilarious. And I think our sons were separated at birth.

Cheeky who is a kickass mama to two little boys. She balances single motherhood, her artistic endeavors, and work.


Mountain Mama who followed her (and her family’s) dreams to live in the mountains. She’s had some wonderful surprises along the way.

Dawn, the guru of child development. And creator of several wonderful blogs.

Redneck Mommy who doesn’t hold back.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Peanut is bossy, usually with me. A conversation we regularly have goes like this:

“I want apple juice!”

“What do you say?”

“Pleaaaaase.”

“Your juice is on the table. You can go get it.”

“YOU GET IT!!”

“I’m sitting down. If you want your juice, you can get it.”

“NO! YOU GO GET IT! YOU’RE NOT NICE!”

***
This morning he told Hubby he wanted sausage and pancakes for breakfast. Hubby obliged.

“I don’t want sausage ‘n pancakes. I want cheesy crackers.”

Hubby pours some crackers on his plate.

“NOT ON MY PLATE. INNA BOWL!”

Friday, July 06, 2007

Peanut continues to have rough mornings on the days I take him to daycare. We somehow survive getting dressed, eating breakfast, and the dreaded tooth-brushing routine. He is usually fairly happy to get into the car, but once we pull out of the driveway, he acts sad. When I ask how he's feeling he says either sad or tired.

I try to converse with him which tends to be one-sided. He either ignores me, or responds to everything with a soft little "no."

So I work a little harder at engaging him. I ask him what he sees out the window. Or I tell him what I see, which inevitably gets a soft "no" or a loud "No, I see it!"

Lately I've started "seeing" outlandish things like a herd of singing giraffes, or elephants playing drums, or somesuch. Peanut always agrees that he sees them, too and comments on them. They're loud, silly, naughty, or whatever. This morning he joined in on the game and saw monkeys playing trumpets and baby monkeys playing trombones.

It made for a nice ride to daycare.
Crappy customer service continued....

I exchanged a few more emails with the rep until he understood what was missing. He seemed annoyed at first, since all items were listed as shipped on the invoice. I had to explain that yes, they were listed on the invoice, but I only received 3 out of the 4 items. He agreed to send the missing reagents.

The shipment arrived yesterday. With duplicates of two items I already received. And missing the reagents AGAIN. Which were listed as shipped on the invoice.

Oy veh.

Monday, July 02, 2007

There is one vendor I can’t stand dealing with (for work.) Their customer service is crap, unless you’re buying something expensive, when suddenly they fall over themselves trying to help.

On an average year, our lab spends about $8-10 grand with them. I’m sure that’s small peanuts, but when you add up all the labs at Big University who do business with them, it probably runs into the millions. One would think that sort of business would inspire decent service.

We purchased a specialized piece of equipment from them a few years ago. The cost could have funded a small house. We received multiple phone calls and emails each week while in the process of getting specs, quotes, and finally ordering the thing. With the purchase came a $1500 credit account to purchase consumables. Once the machine arrived, our rep fell off the face of the earth. It took MONTHS to get the credit account set up.

To sweeten the deal further, shipping ran from $50-$75 per order. For items on ice or which required no special handling. (I can get shipments on dry ice for less from other companies.)

So, I’ve been trying to get samples for two kits for a week. Each kit retails for about $750.00, and we don’t know how they’ll work, so we want to test them out before purchasing one. With most companies, you get samples for free or a small fee with a simple call. Not with them. I was forwarded to the sales rep’s voice mail. Heard nothing for nearly a week. Emailed him. Got a response that his colleague in another department already handled it. Wrote back that I haven’t heard anything from said colleague.

Finally, I actually got a phone call from the rep. He said he'd make sure I get the samples for free. He knew which lab I was from and noted we have been good customers.

The samples arrived the next day. Missing a box of reagents. Back to email it is....
You know you live in redneck country when a 4-wheeler speeds down the road in front of your workplace complete with a dude up front and his barefoot girlfriend on back. And it looks like they’re planning to continue onto the 4-lane divided highway up the road.

You know you really live in redneck country when upon hearing this story, your husband’s reply is “Oh, that’s nothing. THIS is redneck…”

Hubby, his sergeant, and assorted other emergency vehicles, including an ambulance, were at the scene of something-or-other next to a gas station. A lady pulls up to one of the pumps on a 4-wheeler. With her 3 kids piled on back. She proceeds to fill ‘er up while SMOKING A CIGARETTE.

Really, really dumb thing to do. And even dumber to do it in front of cops.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I saw Mom this weekend and the visit went well. It's probably the best visit we've had since she's been in the treatment program. She's still very depressed and has tremors (her arms and hands are so shaky), but she managed to converse some with me and the visit didn't focus on her illness. She brought it up a couple times, but caught herself and redirected the conversation. She had a genuine interest in what's going on in my life and asked about Hubby and Peanut. She even asked for pictures.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I heard from one of my high school friends the other day. We keep in touch via email every few months and see each other about once a year. She’s the one out of that group of friends I’ve remained closest to and kept the most regular contact with.

She had some news and pictures to share. I wrote back and told her what Peanut, Hubby, and I are up to and asked about her family. I also told her about Mom.

I haven’t heard anything back. It could be that she’s busy. It could be that she doesn’t know how/doesn’t want to respond. It could be something else. I hyper-analyze her lack of response.

I hate that.

I hate the stigma associated with mental illness. The weird looks, the silence. I’ve made other friends uncomfortable by talking about Mom. I hate feeling like I have to edit what I say for fear of scaring them off. They’re my friends, dammit, and I should be able to share this with them. Not only is my mom in a bad place, I am too. I need friends to talk to, shoulders to lean on. But when I talk about it to people other than family or one particular friend (who has been through depression and whose husband exhibits a lot of bipolar tendencies), I end up regretting it. I start to wonder: Is that person going to avoid me? Have I lost that friend?
Today is one of those days when I want to crawl back into bed and avoid dealing with everything.

My aunt called last night. She left a message asking about Mom a few weeks ago and I never called back. I filled her in. Then she told me what's going on in her life. My cousin has tumors on her ovaries and uterus and an enlarged adrenal gland. She goes for testing next week. We're praying and hoping for the best.

Taking Peanut to daycare this week has been a huge power struggle. Today was the worst yet. He bit me when I tried to brush his teeth, then spit on, screamed at, and kicked me while I dressing him. I'm so fed up with his toddler attitude. I know it comes down to his frustrations at having to do things he doesn't want to, but I'm not a damn punching bag. Hubby stopped by for a couple minutes as we were leaving and I'm not sure if that helped or hindered us. Peanut was happy to see Daddy, but started screaming and crying the second we started pulling out of the garage. I lost it as we were driving away and yelled at him to stop. Real nice. Once we got to daycare, he didn't want his shoes on, so I carried him in barefoot. He wouldn't hold still for shoes until I threatened him with the time out chair.

I'm so glad Hubby is off tomorrow and can either keep Peanut home or take him in late.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I thought things couldn't get any worse with mom. I was wrong. She admitted on the phone that she tried to choke herself this weekend.

I need to talk to the social worker, but I've been burying my head in the sand. I can't deal. Obviously, the program is not working for her. They can keep for until August, as planned, but will it help? What will happen next - the state hospital? Mom has been talking about it for the past couple of months. It may turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Monday, June 11, 2007

It all comes down to finding the right bribe. For potty training, that is.

Peanut has had little-to-no interest in using the potty since its newness wore off. He'll occasionally sit on it for oh, a nanosecond or so. He does sit on the potty at daycare once or twice a day, but never does anything.

Last night as Daddy was putting him into bed, he asked for the model Corsair hanging over his bed. Hubby said he could have it when he goes peepee and poopoo in the potty. He announced to Hubby this morning that he wanted to go peepee in his potty and he wanted his plane. So he sat down and peed. IN THE FREAKIN' POTTY.

Of course, once he had the desired plane, he pooped in his diaper.

But it's a start!

Monday, June 04, 2007

We have a budding photographer in residence. Peanut borrowed the digital camera and took some pix. Not too bad for a 2 y.o.
Toes:

The dog:
Train set:

Thursday, May 31, 2007

This week's big news story is of a man with multiple-drug resistant TB who flew to Europe for his wedding and honeymoon, then snuck back into the US for treatment, fearing he would otherwise die. Now the CDC et al. are scrambling to notify airline passengers and others that may have been exposed.

The man claims he didn’t know how dangerous his illness was until he was already on his honeymoon. Since his physician only recommended he postpone his wedding and didn’t ban him outright from flying, he felt it was perfectly safe and reasonable to fly overseas and proceed as normal. Knowing he had TB.

Now he’s quarantined, but he’s a smart and educated guy, and pissed that he’s got a guard at his door.

I dunno, maybe with my science background and all I’m more aware of the dangers of drug-resistant illnesses than the average citizen. Or maybe I just have common sense.

TB, whether run-of-the-mill, or super-scary drug resistant, is no joke. It’s a serious illness. And that drug-resistant shit can take months to get rid of. It can involve removal of lung tissue and months of hospitalization. It has a mortality rate in the neighborhood of 40%. According to one news report, a patient required an estimated half million dollars’ worth of treatment to get well.

So either this guy isn’t as “well-educated and intelligent” as he claims to be, or he didn’t give a shit about risking other peoples’ lives so he could go to his wedding. Luckily, he’s asymptomatic and not should not be highly contagious.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mom. Yeah, she’s not doing so well. I’m not coping so well.

I saw her this weekend. I talked for a couple minutes with the really nice tech/aide that’s usually there on weekends. He answered the door, so we had time to talk alone. She’s refusing meals. She’s skipping therapy sessions. She’s talking about wanting to die and wanting God to take her. To the point of pissing off her roommates and being placed in time out. She was accused of being a bigot by one of her roommates. Yes, Mom is bigoted (although she’ll claim she isn’t), but I don’t think the remark was a racist one. She told a roommate that an aide was being a wise ass. It turns out the aide is white and is married to the nice aide, who is black. Mom claims she didn’t even know they were married. I think she was being bitchy and said something stupid. I don’t think she was commenting on their marriage. Not that it matters. She should have known better than to say it. The treatment facility has rules of conduct and she’s broken several of them.

I spent all of maybe 15 minutes there before Mom asked me to leave. I’m tired of the “I’ve given up” talk. I told her I’m not going to join the pity party and I don’t feel sorry for her. She wanted to go into treatment and she got what she wanted. I can’t help that she makes poor choices. When she was in the hospital psych unit, they did everything they could to help her and even had the independent living apartment lined up for her. She decided she wanted this treatment facility instead. Once she got in, she wanted out. She wanted to play by her rules, not theirs.

I should talk to the social worker and see what’s up. How far they’ll let this go. He’s had nothing to offer in the past couple of conversations. I doubt speaking with the shrink will give me any more answers. He sees the patients once or twice a month and deals only with meds.

Around we go, in fucking circles. Things get better for a while, then something sets her off, and we're back at the bottom.
We took the camper on its maiden voyage this weekend. Well, if going to a campground 30 minutes away qualifies as a voyage. All the state parks were booked up for the holiday weekend and we decided a place close to home would be in our best interest. Hubby and I are veteran campers, but Peanut and the dog are newbies, and some people just aren’t cut out for roughing it.

We had a great time. We let Peanut stay up waaaaay to late Friday night, so he had a screaming meltdown at bedtime. “Nooooooo caaaaaamper. Go bye-byyyyyyyye. Sleep in mommyyyyyyyyy’s bed!” The solution was for Hubby to hold Peanut until he fell asleep. During that time, we were not allowed to talk, sing, look at, or touch Peanut. But once he finally nodded off, he was out for the night. Lily woke us up at some point, growling and whining at a resident armadillo. Then Hubby was called out for a murder at about 3 am. Luckily, he only had to assist a small agency that hasn’t dealt with a murder in YEARS and wanted some hand-holding. He made it back by breakfast time, so we all ate together.

The rest of Saturday was uneventful. We hung around, ate, went for a walk, and were lazy. Peanut wasn’t impressed with dinner, and had only licked the cheese off cheesy crackers for lunch, so we drove to a fast food place. He stuffed himself with a couple bites of yogurt, half of a chicken nugget, and a couple of fries. I’m surprised he doesn’t outweigh me with all the food he eats.

We got him off to sleep at a reasonable hour without much fuss. He did ask several times to go bye-bye, but didn’t cry or scream. Our armored friend visited again during the night, but Lily decided it wasn’t worth the effort to wake up. We all were nice and snuggly until 6 am when Hubby was called out to another freakin’ murder. So, we got up, packed up camp, and headed home.