Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Alzheimer's Resources

Blogging is therapeutic. I had a guy friend tease me saying "oh wow you have a blog you must be so legit" and while yes, blogs don't make you a NYT writer, I use this spot as a place to dream, vent, scheme, organize, request help, and post things I want to remember. As any blogger knows comments are the best part of the day either agreeing with you on the trials and tribulations of motherhood or helping you find that desperately sought out paint color you cannot remember. Lately my comments have turned into emails requesting my help. There is a small but quickly growing population of people in my exact position.....a younger generation with parents that have either been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, or they believe Alzheimer's or another dementia might be the case but don't know where to start. For most of my friends this is typically a disease they see in their grandparents, but for some of us it is hitting our own parents early.

What these emailers are asking for (mostly women) is advice. They need a shoulder to cry on, an empathetic ear and heart to hear their story....but overall they need some place to turn to.

When we received the official diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's disease the first thing I did was go to the Alzheimer's Association website. I signed up for updates and news from my local chapter and as soon as it was available I signed up for the walk.
I can remember going to the walk kick-off in 2012. We had a breakfast at one of the Assisted Living communities here in Charlotte and I sat at a table of former walkers and people in the industry. When they asked how I was connected to the disease and I said that my mom had been diagnosed the floodgates opened. I could have felt embarrassed but it wasn't necessary there. Those were now my people. They understood. And they hurt for me. They all had first hand knowledge of the hard road my family was going to travel and mostly offered love and encouragement. It was mind blowing and wonderful and sad all at the same time.

Walk day the first year was a sea of flowers from the memory garden and an ocean of emotions from me. My Mom held up her blue flower to signify she had Alzheimer's and she held it up proudly. 
There weren't many blue flowers there but for her it showed she understood what was going on and to have thousands of other colored flowers there supporting her made her feel like she was part of a community. 

My Blondes vs Brunettes to End ALZ Team in 2013

The Alzheimer's Association is an amazing organization. If I didn't have a pretty good gig I would seriously consider working for them for the rest of my life. Besides the Walk (and Blondes vs Brunettes powderpuff football league which was so fun!) they have support groups that I haven't yet started but my father has and he cannot say enough wonderful things about his meetings. He didn't know what to think of his first meeting in Asheville but the stories and advice and (again) empathy are soul healing for him. And I guarantee if you know my Dad he has the room laughing as he puts a slight comedic spin on his narratives of mom.

Our next step was Memory Care. We had to get a recommendation before going there but once her former Neuropsychologist made the diagnosis we started looking around for a better fit doctor wise.

Memory Care is in Asheville, NC and is a non profit organization for patients and families. They do not only treat the patient but they treat the caregiver. We visit 2-3 times a year with a Dr and a nurse. While Mom gets her overall health and cognition checked, Dad and I meet with the Nurse (I would call her a life counselor) and get advice on where we go from here. I want these meetings to last forever. We have so many questions and so many stories and what if scenarios. The information we gain from these appointments is invaluable and I will post some below.

The last step is research. These are the books I have read/am reading. If you think you might be dealing with a form of dementia I would order all of these on Amazon right away.

Two I want to read:

My techy advice would also to follow these organizations on twitter/facebook/blogs...etc so that you can see their updates, attend events, and follow their stories.

Follow Maria Shriver. 

Read other blogger's stories.

Sign up to be an ambassador through the Alzheimer's Association. 
I was able to go to a meet and greet with Congressman Robert Pittenger last year and tell him our story and voice my concerns through an event planned by the ALZ Association.

I guess you could say as a family we doing okay. We have seen a rather steady decline in cognitive function and while we have hired help and set up schedules and done as much as we can to keep her comfortable and happy in her life the next step is always on the horizon. In home daycare? Out of the house daycare? We aren't sure where we go next but we have made sure we have someone to hold our hand along the way. I would say she is in good spirits most of the time but my father bears the brunt of the sundowning/mood changes. These are daily now and can range from pouting to serious screaming to complete lost control. He is who I worry about the most. 

Last but not least here are some bookmarks/pins for you. Social media is truly a great way to start learning and you can visit my Alzheimer's board on Pinterest here:

Safe Return Bracelet ordered here:

I know this post is lengthy but I hope it helps some of you in your own fight against Alzheimer's. And lastly to my Mom...
You go BB! Want to walk with us this year? Here is our page.

A Caregiver

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paint Color Decisions

I could seriously paint my house all blues. Got the hell no from the man of the house.

Way back in 2010 I got a frantic email from my husband while I was pregnant and working uptown. All it said was PICK PAINT COLORS NOW. THEY ARE HERE AND NEED COLORS IN THE NEXT HOUR. I hadn't picked colors yet (wrote about that here) and this was not a pleasant email to receive. 

Yeah, Um, have you met me???? I stopped whatever work I was doing and began a google search on light blues and light greens, the colors for the nursery and guest room. I was NOT amused. I sent a hail mary email to Marianne and she (being the adorable sweetheart she is) responded with some advice which I took and made sure not to go too dark. I quickly emailed back my decisions and then got a reply that I needed to pick Sherwin Williams colors b/c that is what our painters use. F*&K!!!!

So in the span of about 2 hours I picked our colors and then had to google image them to death to find the SW counterparts. Fun? NO. Not when you are 6 months pregnant with your first child and making very important decisions. BUT..........the rooms turned out beautiful and now we are here again swapping it all up.

Like I wrote before we are doing quite the shuffle upstairs but we have a guest room that has 1. A locked gun safe in the closet and 2. access to the half attic. I only feel comfortable putting the oldest kid in there (12 year old stepson) so the green room becomes his room. Not a single clue on what to paint for him in there. White?

Current Guest Room. The green paint, curtains and bed are moving into the nursery for baby girl. This room will become my stepson's room. 
So the current nursery will have the blue painted over to green and the curtains hung and double bed stuck under the window. I'm thinking green nursery with pink and purple accents? Like my lovely "For James" by Katie Long Stevenson? 

Our Grassland by Sherwin Williams is beautiful in some light, but sometimes it can look a tad yellow. What do you think? Nursery appropriate?


Here is Sherwin Williams Ancient Marble

Benjamin Moore's Vale Mist

Phoebe Howard loves Healing Aloe but it might not be green enough for me? (Not healing Aloe but a very very close wallpaper by Phoebe)

Healing Aloe

And now on to the Current Nursery (Possible big boy room color)-Icelandic Blue
Big boy room color? Yes? I was going to re-use the current Icelandic Blue but this image from Ashley Whittaker is haunting me. 
The blue is a more purplish blue/gray and I love the way it looks. So what do you vote...try to find this blue/gray or go with Icelandic? Elle Bright Designs saved the day and let me know it is close to Manor Blue from Benjamin Moore. (This room above is actually a wallpaper...buzzkill!)


Manor Blue

Decisions decisions. Is Manor too dark? Do you like Grassland Green? I think Manor would be a wonderful color to grow up with. I do love his Icelandic though. And between moving him, no more pacifier, being potty trained and big boy beds soon...I'm one emotional mama!

Furiously Nesting Cracked out K with No AC

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vacation from Vacation......Beach Hangover

Not really since I didn't barely had a few drops of alcohol, but leaving home for almost 2 weeks with a very wild 3 year old is not for the weary. I know I know I know....."Just you wait". I have heard it a lot and am scared shitless quite concerned how I will handle two kids but all I know is:
1. I will be back on my OCD/Anxiety meds
2. I will not be huge and out of breath and lopsided
3. I will be boozing

so I am fully expecting two kids to be much harder to handle than one but with all that being said I'm still exhausted from the trip.

Does that happen to you after vacations? I saw on Instagram somebody used the phrase "relocation" instead of vacation. So true. I do get the luxury of not working which was very very nice for two weeks but I will say it is not the same as it was pre-kids. 

I'll be back tomorrow with plenty of f-bombs and sarcasm as we tackle the beautiful world of girl's baby clothes.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

If You Can't Say Anything Nice....

Do you ever see a picture on Instagram or a blog or something on Pinterest and wish you could REALLY say what you were thinking?

Yeah I'm going to start doing that. I will try not to hurt feelings but in the mood I'm in today that might be hard.*

These people must not have kids. Just sayin.

 How I feel if I have to leave the house. Avert your eyes if you see me at Harris Teeter.

 Somebody pinned this from Bethenny Frankel's daughter's new room. Fuck Bethenny Frankel. I watched her show my first maternity leave and now I just want to waterboard her with milkshakes. OHHH a pink girl's room. Let's put it in a catalog STAT! My friend Sarah Fisher should be published WAY ahead of some of these Bozos. Hint: If your ceilings are that tall get a taller headboard you TV trash!

 This is fine. But what is with the creepy wolf/dog in the background. Wait for it...you'll see it.

 Really? That shit is going to tip over in a hot second. Buy a fucking table. Some DIY projects make me want to send them a check to go to freaking Ikea.

 Parents Magazine I have already yelled at you on twitter. Stop it. Stop making us fear for our lives regarding EVERYTHING. The BOX will kill your child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Need. Wow. Girl clothes. Yikes.

 I blame Parents magazine (again) but I see this and see head trauma. Or accidental hanging. And no way in hell would I make up those beds.

 Just stop. What the shit is this?

 Really? For a little girl's room? Um NO. WWMPS? (What would Mary Poppins Say?) That little girl's gonna be a panty dropper.

 This. Yes.

 Apparently I need to make this. Pinterest is the devil to overly emotional pregnant women. I honestly don't know what is wrong with me this time but I'm a mess. Not even a hot mess. And I want cake. 

I'm sorry.....this is adorable? She looks like she just got washed up from a shipwreck. Pirate Hooker clothes for your little girl!

Which immediately makes me think...

 Make sure you get your Watermark on that awesome photo. 

*Ah, I feel better. No weekend review because:
1. The lady giving me a pedicure said I had lots of swelling in my ankles. Thanks for pointing that out!
2. People are already asking if I'm near my due date.
3. I'm in psycho packing mode.
4. I HATE my options to pack for the Beach this year. I'm eating the same or actually even healthier than I did for my son and I'm puffy everywhere. I haven't had a SINGLE ZEBRA CAKE!
Screw you summer pregnancy. Screw you.