Friday, October 21, 2016

Two Weeks Until Two

Normally I would already have the dining room set up with the items for the birthday party. The chargers, napkins, tablecloth, silver, and serving pieces. The gorgeous invitations would have been mailed six weeks in advance and our friend Tracy (the best bartender in NC) would have been booked. All of your friends, my friends and Ford's friends would be invited because they are my village. An over the top cake would be secured and a dress pressed and laid out to coordinate with the theme. Fresh pine straw would be laid in the yard and the house would be clean as a whistle. Custom cookies to enhance the party's theme would be baked by a dear friend and the house would be spotless. A playlist heavy on Van Morrison would be created along with flower arrangements to make Martha swoon. It would be a perfect two year old's birthday party.

But my mother won't be here. She doesn't even know Amelie. Nor does she have any concept of what time of year it is, much less that it is someone's special day. And my Aunt, who has gifted me the 8 pieces of family silver I own, and who was quite the hostess herself, is gone. And my heart is broken.

So this year it will probably be just you and me. The two of us blowing out a candle on a cupcake while you have your sippy cup of milk and me with my wine. I'll still put you in your party dress and still put fresh flowers around the house. Dad and Ford will be at movie night at his school, something that he swore he could NOT miss. So it will just be us girls. And the large gaping hole of the women in my life that I miss. I wish you could know them. I wish you could have experienced holidays or birthdays with BB, and the impeccable magazine worthy gorgeous home Aunt Kathleen kept. 

They both are now fairy tales I will tell you as you drift off into toddler sleep.

I love you Amelie Ambrose Fuchs.

Love Mom

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In the Trenches

Most people I know keep family matters private. To each their own and I totally understand and Max definitely wishes I did the same. However, I just can't. Mainly because I feel guilty when I cancel on my third girls night in a row. Or when people see me out and I look like room temperature dog shit. Or to possibly explain why I'm a hot mess express via text. I pride myself on being super organized and I missed school curriculum night and my son wore a jersey to school picture day. These aren't the mannerisms of the "Room Mom" PTA SuperMom I wanted from myself for our Kindergarten year. My son's teacher must think I'm a loon.

The normal day to day activities of a household are sometimes enough to drive you insane. Especially with a very militant and feisty almost 2 year old and a non stop talking 5 year old. Add in Soccer, a new Kindergarten routine and back to back travel for a spouse every weekend and you've got stress. Normal stress from what I gauge most friends are experiencing but still, stress.

My Aunt died last week. She and my Uncle did not believe in saying "passed away" or "we lost Aunt Kathleen". Because she wasn't lost, and she didn't pass anywhere. She merely died. It was out of the blue and heartbreaking. She was the Matriarch of our family and our very own Dowager Countess of Ansley Park. My Dad is crushed. I am crushed. She deserves her own post that I will hopefully write soon. She was a Rockbrook Girl and no other woman had such style and elegance as she did. We all thought she would pull a miraculous recovery like her cousin Kitten did this summer but she did not. She tasted her last gin and tonic on Wednesday afternoon. 

Thursday morning my Dad called me in a panic because BB had fallen while he was visiting and hit her head and started seizing.......and was unresponsive. I honestly thought when we hung up that she was gone. I just sat on my bed sobbing and Max got me in the shower so I could either start packing or make a plan. She ended up being okay and after speaking with the nurse at her facility they noticed on the surveillance video that the seizure caused the fall and not vice versa. Something we will need to address pharmacologically soon. Apparently in the end stages of Alzheimer's this can become common. End stages.

After Asheville we went to Sewanee to celebrate the marriage of my cousin. The same cousin who just said goodbye to his mother. Many people probably wondered how we could celebrate after such a tragedy. My grandfather died right before my Aunt and Uncle were married in New Orleans. I guess if any family knows how to do this its ours. It was a beautiful weekend in Tennessee and everyone had a wonderful time.

This week we prepare to head to Atlanta to celebrate my Aunt and Max got the call his brother is in the ER. He has a blockage of his arteries and is having a catheterization done. Max is very close with his brother, he is his best friend and I swear those two use every minute of our phone plan. To say that he dodged a bullet is an understatement, the doctor told him he was a ticking time bomb with a 90% blockage.

I write all this to ask.....for you to please say a prayer for our family. Max has been keeping things running here while I've been at Alzheimer events, Asheville events, family events...... and he is exhausted. I'm exhausted from all the events and from not being home. Our hearts hurt. Our minds are functioning enough to keep our kids happy and healthy and to make sure we still have jobs.

I know many have it far far worse than we do but I just wanted to put this down on paper so I can look back and see what this time in our life was like. This must be what if feels like to be in the trenches.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Change and Anxiety: Kindergarten

This post is selfishly about me. Remember I once told you I have always been wrapped up in "firsts" and "lasts"?

This is the last week of the only parenting I know. Parenting with Full-time M-F assistance.

For five years I have taken my son to daycare. We have arrived at whatever time we wanted and the most challenging thing to remember was show and tell day or if it was water day in the summer. This was my morning routine:

Creeeaaakkk, pitter patter of little Ford feet down the hall. Ford climbing into my bed. Kissing me on the cheek. Hi Mommy, when can we go downstairs?
That was my alarm clock. For five years. The past two years sometimes the alarm would be Amelie crying in her room to be rescued from her crib, but most of the time Ford wakes up first. (I'm choosing to forget about the first year of Ford's life when I worked uptown and rode the light rail with a 90's breast pump handed down with one of my bosses) 
I would then proceed to roll out of bed, change my shirt but leave on my workout shorts/pants and put on flip flops or Fuggs (Faux Uggs). I didn't even wash my face or brush my teeth. Glasses not contacts. We would eat dry cereal or muffins while watching Dora and get dressed for school and then out the door to the less than three mile commute to their school. (Yes, I was the Troll mom at drop off. I work from home, do you know how much my face lotion costs? I avoid makeup unless it is necessary. Maybe I need a B-squad of makeup for M-F.)
All of that is changing. 

We will now have two schools and one with a rigid arrival schedule. 7:15 am EST. Lunch to be packed. A backpack to be prepared. What should I feed him? Turkey and cheese? Ham and cheese? We are a peanut free house (except my contraband at the top of the pantry) so Peanut Butter and Jelly is not something my kids even know about. Those bento boxes overwhelm me and I know my picky son would be like WTF is hummus.
Would your kids seriously eat this sh*t? via lastonecookbook

Homework. Peer Pressure. Friends to be made. We don't know a soul in his class at K. PTA to jump in and get involved. Teacher Work Days. End of Year testing. And the really scary abyss of no childcare during the summer. I have heard that planning summer camps requires an Excel sheet and Tracy Flick organization.

I know that change is good. It shouldn't be feared but instead embraced. But that is much easier for some. And much harder for myself. I know people do this all the time and with more kids and more schools than myself....but I'm just a little worried how this will rock our nice steady boat.

So when you see me next Thursday with bloodshot eyes and mascara around my neck sitting at Roosters eating my feelings with Mac and Cheese and wine know that while I am emotional over my son growing up, I am also scared shitless of change.

(I promise in a few weeks I will be a super K mom and will be taking all of this in stride. Just let me have my mini pity party)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


It crept up out of nowhere. I had a wonderful visit with my Father while he was in town for business. And this morning he left and I came and sat down at my desk and put on music to crank out some of the piles of work this week holds. I needed something softer than my usual playlists so I put Enya on. I haven't listened to Enya in years. 

And there it was. Tapes from my mother's car. Her album "Watercolor" playing while my parents entertained. And then George Winston. When George Winston's Summer or Winter albums were on my parents would be sitting at the dining table with friends, candles lit and glasses clinking. That was my cue to stay hidden in my room.

And it became too much to bear and I began to sob.


It's not the same. Even with her Alzheimer's she would still be my Mom. She would be here. And she isn't here. She is there. In that home. 

She would have brought some odd tchotchke for the kids that was probably inappropriate. And she would have insisted my Dad stopped for flowers before arriving. And she would have picked the dead leaves off the plants. And she probably would have spilled something and slightly frustrated us but she would have been here. 

And then I get sadder and imagine her healthy. Would she be that lone honest voice and tell me its time to use wrinkle cream? That I look tired and a little heavy? Would she help me organize Amelie's clothes and switch my closets from Summer to Fall? Go for a walk with me? Give me advice about the rooms in my house that are still in progress? I know she would insist on Mums and Pumpkins in the coming months. She made seasons magical.

I miss having a Mom.

I miss it so so much.