Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stinky week.

My children never wet the bed. Never. I must have said that outloud sometime last week and put it out into the universe and then it happened......I think I heard that on Oprah, right?! So it must be true;) Wetting the bed freaks me out. It has something to do with my OCD like tendencies and my strong aversion to the smell of urine. I can smell a wet diaper a mile away.

Anyway, this week my husband's aunties were here visiting. We were all sleeping in different beds, staying up late, having too much fun and by the end of the day we were all exhausted. I don't think the huge slushies Aunt Gwen bought for everyone helped either but one of the kids wet the bed and she is the youngest and only out of pullups a few months so I chalked it up to being too tired and didn't think much of it. Until the second night when she did it again. On the third night two of them wet the bed. Two. This was the slushy night so I couldn't believe it but decided I would wake the two bed wetters and take them to the bathroom before I went to bed at night and have them go potty to prevent accidents. It worked. On those two. The fifth night, yet another child had an accident. I still have been unable to convince her that ''someone mean" didn't ''sneaked'' into her room and dump water on her!

Do you know how much laundry I do with our family of 7 plus two guests anyway? Do you know how much more laundry 6 bed wettings in one week causes? It has caused me to develop a twitch. I feel like my entire house stinks. I can't get it out of my nose. What do you think the home owner's association would say about three mattresses airing out on the front lawn? I'm guessing since they want me to sweep up my grass clippings out of the street that this may be an offense to section 352A.

My first instinct was to go out and buy a Costco size box of pullups and make everyone in the house wear them, just in case but Trevor wasn't cooperating. The good news is that my washing machine can handle a double bed size comforter and all of the sheets that go with it and tomorrow the high is 78 degrees and my windows will be open!

Is withholding liquids for a week too extreme?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trevor's post!

This single mother of five thing is waring me out! He'll be home Sunday and we cannot wait to have him home. Wanted to share an update from Trevor with you all:

Imagine feeding someone, being unable to understand or respond to their gibberish, changing their clothes, helping them to walk and changing them when they have an accident. It’s cute if it is a newborn baby or young child, but what if it’s your Dad? Well, in my case it is my Dad. You may know him as Bredda Herman, Pastor Harris, Rev Harris or my dad.

I am spending a couple weeks with Daddy and he is unable to do some of the simple things we take for granted. You see, Daddy has Alzheimer’s disease and has been diagnosed with the disease for a few years. As I am taking care of him this week, it is mind boggling to see him in this state. I think back as a young boy how he was the strongest, fearless, kindest, independent man I knew. To explain, he was a hard worker that grew up farming and doing carpentry. He spent his entire life in ministry and would start churches in crime ridden areas of Kingston. Because of his work in the ministry, he was always serving others in some capacity. Finally, he took seriously his responsibility to take care of his family.

When I was in Jamaica in April of this year, he did not show any signs he recognized me as his son. This time around, when Hazel, my Dad’s caregiver, asked him who I was, he said my name. It felt good. You see, I have not been able to have a meaningful conversation with my father for a while. Our conversations jump around various time periods in his life. I go along for the ride and most times I can make him laugh about some experience.

Anyway, this time with Daddy has been special for me. For one, I appreciate him more now than I ever did. His spiritual leadership of his home has shaped me in the man I am today. For instance, his words and lifestyle mirrored his love for the things of God. Second, his compassion and service to others was evident. Lastly, he treasured and loved my mom like no other.

So, I am enjoying hanging out with Daddy. Whether it is feeding him, bathing him, shaving him or helping him to walk, I am treasuring our time together. In a strange way, I think he is enjoying it too. You know, that prolonged squeeze he gives my hand, or that smile I get when I give him kudos for walking from the bedroom to the dining room, even though he would rather me push him in the wheelchair. At nights, it’s the best because I get to read the Bible to him and pray with him.

I am humbled that I get to serve Daddy in this fashion after all he has done and sacrificed for me and others. Just know, Daddy is having fun hanging with his son and bredren…and I am loving it too.

Friday, August 6, 2010

You know those moments when it feels like you are doing something right, I had one of those last night. Ava came into bed with me around 2:30 in the morning and said she missed Grandpa. I told her I did too and was so sorry she missed him. She snuggled in tight with me and I hear her start to whisper a prayer for him and for Daddy and Hazel, his caregiver...not prompted, not loud like she wanted me to hear, didn't point it out afterwards, just a sweet prayer to her God. It was so amazing. There are many times in a day that I feel like I don't know how to mother this beautiful little girl, like I have not quite figured out what she needs yet...and God gave me this glimpse into her heart that blessed me. I was so thankful that she sought comfort in her momma and her God.

She then started asking about JoJo and why he doesn't have a daddy and why P and L didn't have a daddy. Such heavy little thoughts for a five year old at 2:30 in the morning. So we layed in bed and talked about Alzheimer's and Grandpa and Daddy. We talked about how some daddy's don't know how to be daddy's and how blessed we are to have the one we do. We talked about how silly and fun JoJo was and how he'll always be our friend. We talked about life. We talked for an hour. Who needs sleep?

She is still sleeping. The dog woke me up:) I hope she cherishes that time someday like I do this morning. I love that girl.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Public transportation...Jamaican style

Many of you know my husband is from Jamaica. He is in Jamaica caring for his father right now. He was there in April and had written in his journal about a little adventure that we thought we would share with you. I am hoping when he gets back or even before then, I'll share some more. I spoke with him yesterday and he was at the grocery store and it was supposed to be open but no one was there yet. Cracked me up. If you are Jamaican or know any Jamaicans or even if you've been there, you'll find that funny. I was reminded once again that it's just in his blood;) So here is Trevor's adventure in his words...

Public Transportation (Jamaican style)

During my visits to Jamaica, I usually have access to a vehicle. If you are familiar with Kingston, having a car to get around is convenient, not impossible, but convenient. This time around, mi haffi do a likkle business…(I have to take care of some business)

So, I venture out today telling my dad’s caregiver, Hazel, I will be back. “Do you know what bus or “robot” (robot – a private individual who uses his personal vehicle to transport folks, usually along the same route of the public buses. “Don’t get robbed” she warns as I leave the house. Not to worry, this is my old stomping ground.

I walk about a ½ mile to the bus stop with my back pack full of important docs. I have a mean “Don’t _ _ _ _ (mess) with me” look on my face. Hopefully they think twice before doing anything stupid. Today is my lucky day; here comes a robot (a Toyota Corolla). Five of us at the bus stop pile in the car. The 6’ 5” dude, me, is in the middle of the back seat. Surprisingly, the legroom is not too bad. We drive about a ¼ mile and run into stop and go traffic…not to worry, my robot makes an imaginary third lane on this two lane road…just when you think there will be a head on collision with oncoming traffic, the street miraculously widens. God still work miracles. When we run out of the imaginary third lane, he turns off the street and heads in the opposite direction from my destination. No problem, robots know the shortest routes, even if it means going through one of the top 5 crime ridden areas in Kingston. While all this is taking place, the passengers in the car are texting and talking on their cell phones…no problem.

We exit the crime area and I have to “big up” (give props, kudos) to my driver. By going through this short cut, he has eliminated a mile of traffic. I am ahead of schedule making good time. My robot continues to my destination. He cuts in front of other cars and narrowly misses hitting pedestrians who think they will defy physics and win the man vs machine battle. Of course, there are more imaginary lanes created by my robot. But, I get to my destination, Half Way Tree…in one piece…no problem.

Half Way Tree is bustling with people going to work. “Taxi, taxi” drivers are yelling as people walk by. Folks are peddling stuff, candy, peanuts, suck suck (imagine flavored sugar water frozen in a plastic bag), and some are up to no good looking to ruin someone’s day. I board a bus to get to my next destination, Cross Roads. The passengers on the bus are upset. Apparently, the bus has been there awhile waiting to fill every seat. The passengers start to unload to look for alternate means to get to their destination. Finally, the bus takes off, reggae music is blaring through the speakers. I’m smiling inside, it’s good to be home. Not to be out done by the robots, the buses have their version of NASCAR on the way to Cross Roads. Multiple hand gestures from the drivers as they cut off each other. All this time, the aroma of “CO2” from the exhaust fills the air. As I near my stop, I yell to the driver of the bus, “one stop driver”, this is the accepted notification to the driver to stop the bus. Bear in mind, the bus does not come to a complete stop. It slows down as it reaches my destination…I time the speed of the bus, ensure there is solid ground, then I disembark the moving bus….nailed the landing…I still got it…that is how studs exit public transportation….you had to see it…no tripping, no stumbling…smooth like “butta”.

Ok, so I have to walk through another crime ridden area. I hope I’m not sticking out. After all, t-shirt and shorts…nothing flashy. I walk across National Heroes Park, (compare to Monument Circle), to do my business. Don’t get too sentimental or patriotic…the park is a hotspot for robberies. I am aware of my surroundings, no one within 50 yards…that’s my bubble. I worked out this morning, so I can run fast if the need arises. No drama, I conduct my business and then stop at my old high school to take some pictures for the family.

So, time to head home…let’s do this again. I get on a bus and again am serenaded by the blaring music. This time, the bus is playing R&B love songs from the 80s…go figure, it’s 11am. You have to be Jamaican to appreciate the variety. I get off the bus at a convenient spot for me…not an official bus stop. Guess what, time to get a robot to head home. The driver of the robot taking me home is not as industrious as the first guy. Nevertheless, he is no less entertaining. This driver has no change to give to his passengers. So, the entire way home, he stops at every peddler on the way and asks if they have any change. Never mind that he stops traffic behind him every time, the man needs change. Thankfully, I have the exact change. I thank him for the ride, pay my fare and start my walk home.

On the way home, Hazel calls to let me know that my sister has been worried because I am travelling using public transport. Why is she worried? You never forget something you did for 20+ years. In fact, I embraced the experience today…brought back many childhood memories. Yes mi bredrens and sistrens (yes, my brothers and sisters), being home feels good. No problem…everyting “irie”.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Amy Cornwell....fabulous fun!

This is what creative and crafty looks like.

This is NOT!

I've talked to you all before about my lack of all things crafty. I get great ideas but they never actually come to fruition...(see the ADD blog below). I am not organized enough or handy enough. It is just not my gift. It really is a gift, just not one I possess.

I do have a friend though that has it. She rocks. Amy Cornwell. This chic turns out crafty creative ideas as often as I hand out snacks. Not only is she a Christian working mother of two but she is an amazing artist. She puts so much love into each project and piece! I had her make P and L's biological mom a beautiful necklace that any momma would treasure. I featured it here...

Her hand stamped jewelry can be checked out here...

or you can shop her store on etsy here.. .

Her blog is loaded with great ideas for food, family fun, home decor, name it, this girl does it. The best part of all of this is that she is the real deal. I honestly barely knew her when she gave me the most beautiful gift of a scrapbook of some of my first blogs and pictures from when the kids first came to live with us. She even printed off people's comments so I could cherish them forever. How thoughtful is that?! She has an amazing heart and is sweet beyond words.

So I thought you could be inspired by her or at least live vicariously through her craftiness:) This girl is going places. Remember you heard it here first.

What are you waiting for? Check her out!!