Thursday, December 8, 2016

Seizures, Falls, and the Move to Skilled Nursing - An Update on BB

This past week makes us realize how lucky we have been for the past six months. 

BB has started having seizures and her falls have increased. She fell Friday and then again this Monday. Monday she rolled her ankle and then put all her weight on it and she ended up with a broken ankle.

Going to the hospital with Alzheimer's is difficult. She cannot alert people when she needs to use the restroom. She has no idea why she is there. Dad had to remind her every few minutes why she was there, where she was, etc. The surgery was successful and a plate and screw were put in for the time being.

With her broken ankle she will need to be moved to Skilled Nursing. The issue is there are no skilled nursing beds available. There is a bed in short-term skilled nursing which is available for 100 days. 

Headed to Skilled Nursing

The big BIG issue is we have to now give up her bed in the Alzheimer's Unit. Her home for the past six months. A place she is comfortable and has friends and routines.

100 days seems like a generous time for somebody to rehab from an injury but Mom cannot use a walker, she has lost most of her ability in he right arm. She shakes too badly and cannot grip anything. And forget about teaching her how to use a wheelchair.

Dad just called me saying they found her wandering the halls. On her broken ankle. This unit is not familiar to her and she is in a big room all alone. 

They want to put her in restraints. That news is a gut punch.

How can you help? I never know how to answer this question. All I can ask is that you pray that BB finds peace and comfort in her new spot. Pray she can rehab and walk again. Pray that there is a bed available in the Alzheimer's Unit when she CAN walk again. Pray for Dad. Visit her, send cards, stuffed animals, etc. 

I honestly didn't realize it could get worse.

Please Lord, Don't let my beautiful vibrant sweet Mother be one of those comatose people in wheelchairs in the hallway. 

I hate this disease.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Etsy Holiday Gift Tag Roundup

I am a total sucker for paper goods. Cards, stickers, enclosure cards, labels, wrapping paper...if I could have a craft room I would! I think maybe it started when my Aunt Jennie would send stationery every year for Christmas. First little roses, and then the full monogram on pale blue cardstock. Most recently my Aunt Jennifer sent gift enclosure stickers for the kids and I have loved being able to stick those on presents and not worry about a card.

Etsy has a HUGE selection of different types of gift tags. You can fall down a rabbit hole looking through all of them so I posted some of my favorites. I think I'm going to order some of these stickers below for Dad this year so he can just slap them on gifts! Pro tip: I send the Digital Download ones to Staples, Office Max, or FedEx and request cardstock because NOBODY likes buying printer ink.

8 stickers for $8 or 12 tags for $10.75

$10 for a PDF or $12 for 12 cards from my friend Rebecca Perkins 
(She does amazing custom designs also!)

$8 Digital File Download for Santa Stickers
Do you wrap Santa gifts? I always have but I think a lot of people don't?! I always get nervous and use different tags for the Santa gifts so these would be perfect.

$7 Digital File Download

30 Stickers for $12

$10 Digital File Download

24 Stickers for $12.50

25 Stickers for $30

20 Tags for $12

Happy Wrapping this Holiday season!!!! Now where have you seen the cutest paper?

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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Achieving First Day of Kindergarten Picture Perfection*

Preppy Prince George

4 weeks until my son starts Kindergarten so that leaves me 4 weeks to:

1.  Find the perfect preppy but scholarly polo and shorts combo to put him in. Polo MUST coordinate with backpack straps. MUST. Otherwise this could ruin the entire day.

2. Fluff my Ferns

3. Spruce up the Front Door

4. Research which Back to School Banner will look best on my fireplace.

5. Select coordinating sister outfit so she can join in on the photo session. Like this Pixie Lily Pre-Order I missed. Damn Damn Damn.
6. Surf the internet for the BEST Chalkboard printout. (Since I have NO artistic skills whatsoever)

7. Shoes. Must be athletic but not light-up or lace-up but still hip and cool.

8. Haircut-Watch Dead Poet's Society and School Ties for ideas.

9. Crest Whitestrips for kids. Gotta get that smile SPARKLY AS EDWARD.

10. Bourbon for after.

*This post is in jest. Partially. Because you know my crazy ass will be taking these pictures and crying!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fuching Weekends 8.1.16

In an effort to blog more and get some of the thousands of photos I take out of my phone I thought I would let my pictures tell our weekend stories. 

This was our last weekend with my stepson. I don't post too much about him on here because as a mother myself I'm not sure I would love it if my kids had a stepmom that took pictures of them and posted all over social media. We had an AMAZING summer together. He is so athletic and really wants to make the High School tennis team in Florida and improved exponentially this summer at tennis camp. He is seriously the best big brother and everyone is happier when he is in town. We had a family date night just with him Friday night and went to see Bourne, review coming later this week.

Saturday was crazy. It was our last pool day together as a family of 5 but Amelie is cutting her two year molars so we were delayed getting out there. School only has her napping from 11-1 but when she is home she desperately wants to take a 9:30am nap. Anyone else have this issue?

I ran up to a friend's 40th birthday party after the pool. Her husband planned a brewery crawl and I met them for a drink at Free Range Brewery. Pro tip: They have an entire toy area for kids! (Picture and article from my favorite Charlotte Agenda)

Then my cousin ended up being in town so we grabbed drinks at Fig Tree. We didn't stay to eat but the place was adorable! He is on his way to Seminary in Alexandria. Good luck Brooks!

Saturday night our friends hosted a dinner party and it was out of this world. I took 0 pictures. I'm an asshole. But you know you are having a good time when you just didn't have time to either find your phone or use it. It usually is just the girls for Blog Club but we finally had a couples night and it was so good to see everyone! I feel like I don't see anybody over the summer since schedules are nuts. No kids and we all ubered. I did get a picture of the Blackberry pie....

Sunday Kody left so it was just me and the kids. This is Ford pre-sobfest. Poor guy. 
Ford: "Why do you have to leave Kody?"
Kody: "Because I have to go home"
Ford: "But you are Home"
Rest of us.....crying.

Me and the kids.................... and a fabulous babysitter. I don't know what we would do without all of our awesome sitters. I snuck out alone Sunday afternoon to attend a sip and see for the sweetest new baby boy and beautiful mama. Look at this CAKE!

 After that went home and grabbed Amelie and headed to get Ford at a friend's birthday party. I'm a horrible parent and Amelie has never been in My Gym. While the big kids were having cake she ran all over!

That was probably REALLY boring for everyone else but I'll look back on these and be thankful for the memories!