Starring Rosie The Boy Cat and Morti The Shelter Cat in their debut film: Wild Hunters!
Since I have not seen you in a very long time, I decided to write you a letter every week here on my blog, to let you know what Fabgrandpa and I have been doing. We both miss you and Owen a lot. I wish we could see you but I know you live very far away now in the UK.
Since you have been gone to the UK, we made cute pond in our front yard. I saw this big fish thing at a store to use for a fountain, so when the pond is turned on, the water comes out of the fishes mouth.
We planted flowers around it and it was so pretty.
After we built the fountain, this little kitten came up to our front door, meowing and meowing telling us he was hungry. I tried to find a home for it because we have never had a cat before, but no one would take it. So, Fabgrandpa and I decided to keep it. His name is Rosie the Boy Cat.
After a while we decided that Rosie The Boy Cat needed a friend, or a brother, so we went to the animal shelter and found a really pretty yellow cat. We named him Morti. Morti is a Maine Coon type of cat, and has a huge bushy tail.
Rosie The Boy Cat and Morti the shelter cat liked each other a lot. If Morti goes outside, Rosie meows and meows looking for him.
Last Summer, Great Granny got sick. She can not remember things. Her illness is called Dementia. Dementia happens to people sometimes when they get to be very old. Great Granny is 89 years old, so it is not unusual for her to have this illness. We love her very much but we could not take care of her, so we took her to a special hospital for older people so they can help her. She likes living there because everyone is so nice to her.
In October, we had a family reunion. There were a lot of people there who were all related to you and me. Some of my cousins couldn’t come. The picture is of all my cousins who came to the reunion. We are all getting older.
Your cousins Gracie and Joshua were at the reunion. Gracie won the award for the person who came the farthest to be at the reunion. If you came to the next one, you would win the prize because the UK is so far away!
A few weeks after the family reunion, Fabgrandpa and I went to a concert. Dweezil Zappa and his band were playing. After the concert, Fabgrandpa and I met Dweezil and got him to autograph our posters. It was a fun night.
When Sarah had her 18th birthday, we all went out to Outback Steakhouse. The food was delicious! Aunt Emily brought a birthday cake and a birthday cupcake for Sarah. All the people who work at Outback came out and sang happy birthday to her, and brought her an ice cream sundae! Everyone had a good time. Poppa Jim, Spencer, Parker, Aunt Emily, me, Uncle Thomas, Sarah, Michael and your Dad were all there.
Look how big Morti Cat is getting! Poppa Jim loves him. Sometimes, Morti gets on Poppa’s lap and watches TV with him.
That is all the news I have for you this week, and it catches up with everything from the last year. I will write to you again next Sunday. You can write back to me in a comment, and tell me what you and Owen have been doing in England. Do you have a pet? Do you like your school? Do you have friends there? What is your teacher’s name? What is your favorite food? What toys do you like best? What is your favorite color? I would really like to hear from you.
I love you bunches,
Some birthdays are more special than others, as we all might agree. Sarah, my oldest granddaughter, turned 18 this year on March 3. Her Dad, my son Seth, decided to take the family out to Outback Steakhouse to celebrate. We had a ton of fun, lots of good food, and just about as much hugging and loving.
Sarah was born in Guam, where her Dad was stationed with the Air Force at the time. We met when she was 10 months old, when she was traveling from Guam to England by way of Georgia. She was a beauty then, don’t you think?
The next time we saw her, Sarah was 4. We all went up to Dahlonega to spend a few days in a cabin in the mountains. Aunt Becca took her fishing at the lake.
Sarah has always been Poppa’s girl. She has always been happy to see him.
In 2005, Sarah was living with her mother in Tennessee. They came to Georgia at Christmas to spend the holidays with her maternal grandparents house. She came to spend one night with us at Stone Mountain Park, where we were working. We took her to the 4-D theater to see the special Christmas movie that was playing there, where we all had to wear the 4-D glasses.
This was a selfie that Sarah took of her and her little sister Amelia some time last year.
love this photo of Sarah. It is so playful and cute.
Sarah played the lead part of Mable in the school play, The Pirates of Penzance, last year. That girl can sing!
Sarah took photos of everyone at our family reunion last year in October. This the only photo of her that was taken!
At her birthday party last Friday, Sarah bit into her birthday cupcake, and got a chocolate mustache. That led to everyone at the table, including me, getting a frosting mustache.
Sarah doesn’t hesitate to hug me in public. I love that about her. If you look closely, you will be able to see Michael’s pink frosting mustache and beard.
Aunt Emily brought the birthday cake. It was a really good cake.
The whole Douglasville family was there. We were missing Aunt Becky and Uncle Rafe who live in East Cobb, and Aunt Becca and Uncle Ken, who are living in Denver. We all had a lot of fun! The Outback staff came out and sang Happy Birthday, and we all sang along with them. It was just a fun, fun evening.
As the mother of a son, you have to go into grandmotherhood with a little secret tucked into the back of your mind. That secret is, that if he gets married, and has children, love up on them as much as you can, because if something happens in his marriage, and his wife leaves, you may never see your grandchildren again.
I’m not here today to point fingers, or to place blame on either one of them, my son or my ex-daughter-in-law. What happened in their marriage, in their home, between them, is not my story to tell. In fact, it is all none of my business and I know it. What IS my story, is that I have called myself the Fabgrandma for more than 10 years, and now that two of my grandchildren have been removed from my life, I feel like a fraud as a grandma. Even though I love those little ones so much that my heart may never heal, I still feel like I am not a good enough grandmother to be called FAB.
Even though there are four other grandchildren that still live close by me, and I try to see them when I can, my heart just hurts more when I see them. I guess it’s because the older two, Michael and Sarah, have lost their little brother and sister. I know that Sarah is heartbroken too. And, Spencer and Parker have lost their cousins. By the time they get grown up, they may not even remember their names, much less what they look like.
My ex-daughter-in-law left back in May, I’m not sure of the date. I know it was after Easter last year, because I was planning a big family dinner and Easter Egg Hunt at my house. They didn’t come, and I was so disappointed. I haven’t seen Owen and Amelia since before Easter 2016. I was not give the opportunity to say goodbye to them, and that was a big big hurt.
So, one day in December I went to the mailbox, and there was a Christmas card postmarked from England. There was no return address, and no personal message written in the card. Their mother had signed both Owen’s and Amelia’s names to the card, even though they both can write their names. I was so stunned to get that card after so long a time, months long, that it was like a sharp knife plunged into my heart. I cried every time I looked at it.
Then, a while later, I received another envelope with a postmark from England, and no return address. Inside the envelope were two hand made Christmas ornaments. One was signed on the back, again in their mother’s handwriting, Owen. The other, Amelia. There was no letter, no scrap of paper in the envelope, to tell me what these were, that they missed me, that they love me, nothing. I have received nothing since then.
It is really hard to feel like a granny, a grandmother, much less a fabgrandma, when I don’t hear from my little loves. It’s hard to try to think about what they are doing, where they go to school, if they are making good grades, if they have accomplished big things, when I don’t even get to hear about it. I am missing out of their lives. More so, they are missing out on having a grandma.
The pictures in this post were sent to my son, and he sent them to me. I don’t know why I am cut out of their lives entirely. Have any of you had this happen to you? Mothers of sons, wrap your heart tightly to your grands.
Teaching children to control their emotions is a challenge to many parents. The truth is that most parents are also learning to control their own emotions, especially when kids misbehave. You cannot shield your children from negative emotions but you can teach them how to react and deal with such emotions. If you have an overly emotive child, you can manage him or her in the following ways:
Empathy helps your overly emotive child understand that he or she is not a bad person for having bad emotions or getting upset. Let your child know that you understand his or her emotions. Children feel safe enough to express their emotions instead of suppressing them when their parents are compassionate. Allowing your children to express their emotions does not mean that you allow bad behavior. It means that you understand that they have limited capacity to control their emotions at their age and make the right choices.
Your child will learn to control his or her emotions by observing your behavior. You cannot throw a tantrum every time your child misbehaves and neither can you respond to his or her yelling with yelling. If your child upsets you, take some moments to calm yourself down before addressing the misconduct. You can walk out of the room and return after a few minutes if your child is old enough.
Most parents punish their children whenever they act out in anger. Time outs and spanking will not help your overly emotive child control his or her emotions. Your priority should be guiding your child into the right behavior. If you must punish your child, which is necessary for some situations, help them understand that you are punishing them for bad behavior and not bad emotions. Otherwise, your child will suppress emotions to avoid punishment and eventually lash out when he or she can no longer hold the emotions.
Children lash out at times when they need attention from their parents. When you soothe your child, he or she will learn to soothe bad emotions. Try reconnecting with your child by spending more time with them if you notice that their emotions are getting out of hand. Show them appreciation and love even when their emotions are upsetting. They will cooperate instead of misbehaving when they feel loved. A nurturing connection works for older children as well.
Sometimes the only way to help an overly emotive child is to get medical help. If you have tried everything but nothing seems to work, allow a professional to assist your child. Getting professional help is particularly important for parents who have problems controlling their own emotions. The issues causing unregulated emotions in your child may be beyond your control. A professional counselor or psychiatrist will identify the root causes and give you direction on how to manage your child’s behavior.
Parents have a critical role to play in helping their children accept and manage their emotions. Parents should help their children understand their reaction to their emotions is a choice and guide them in making the right choices. In addition, parents should establish a deep connection and create an atmosphere where children feel safe to express their emotions.
Preparing to be a parent for the first time can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. You are flooded with information from friends, family and healthcare professionals, in addition to mailings, flyers and parenting magazines. It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to preparing your home and family for the arrival of a newborn. Here is a list of tips to help make the first few weeks easier on you, so you can spend time bonding with your newborn instead of worrying about these extra details.
If this list of tips along with the information that you’ve already received overwhelms you, just pick one suggestion to focus on. Perhaps start by asking for help. You can get more done together. There’s a reason African folklore says that it takes a village to raise a child. Parenting a newborn isn’t meant to be a solitary endeavor. Follow these suggestions and also remember to take time to enjoy the memories you make. They’ll last you a lifetime.
Did you ever have a plan that just refused to come together and get started? That is what is going on around here. Every day, I have planned to write a post here, but something in real life just jumped up and bit me in the behind.
Right before Fabgrandpa went in the hospital to have his heart cath done, the dryer quit drying. It still came on and tumbled around, but it did not heat up. I thought it was the heating element, but it turned out to be the timer. I called the store where we bought it four years ago, and asked them to send out a repair person, and they said they would put me on the list. They said it would take about a week. So, on the following Monday when I had not heard from them, I called again. They said my ticket was “not in the basket, so that means it is on the repair guy’s clipboard. That means he has you in line soon.” So I waited until Friday. I called the store again, and was told that “my ticket was in the basket.” Hmmm. Something did not sound right. It’s like they had these standard responses to spit out when someone called.
So, I hung up the phone and googled for an appliance repair business in a 35 mile radius. I found Bremen Appliance Repair. I called them at about 4:30 on Friday afternoon, and they said they would come out the next morning at 8:00 a.m. And they did. I still have not heard from the other place. I never will. Too bad. They will never get any more of my business.
Then, on Sunday, I cooked dinner for my son, Seth, and his two teenagers, Michael and Sarah. They were really appreciative of a home cooked meal. I made a Boston Butt pork roast, fresh creamed corn, green beans, diced potatoes, and fried okra. I sent half of it home with them. By the time dinner was over, I was exhausted from the effort. I love cooking for them, but it just wears me out.
On Monday, I slept all day. That happens to me when I get exhausted. Nothing new. It is just part of my new life after surgery. I feel bad about it sometimes, but it is what is. Fabgrandpa is still recuperating from his cardiac catheterization, so I am trying to do everything. It’s not all getting done, but that’s ok, too.
Tuesday, we went to Carrollton, about 35 miles away, for Fabgrandpa’s lab appointment with the endocrinologist. Turns out his appointment is this week. Doh! I put it on the wrong day on the calendar. Silly me. Another day wasted.
Wednesday, I had to get up at the ungodly time of 5:30 to take Morti to his neuter appointment. The animals have to be dropped off for surgery at 7:30 a.m. I was dragging by the time I got back home. Another day sleeping in the chair. Except that my neighbor called and asked me to take her somewhere. They have been really good to us, and have done so many things for us, that I hated to tell her no. So, I took her, and it wound up being about a three hour thing. I got home in time to make dinner.
Thursday, I got up at 5:00 to go pick Morty up. Yes, they have to be picked up before the new day’s patients get there. He did good in surgery, tested negative for Feline Leukemia, had no fleas, and got a rabies shot. And a tag for his collar. He came home and almost immediately started playing with Rosie The Boy Cat. They get along really good. Most of the time, Morti instigates the roughhousing, then cries like a baby when Rosie gets too rough. Just like some children I used to know. Anyway, more sleeping in the chair. All this activity should be good for me, but it only makes me tired.
Friday. I’m trying to remember what we did on Friday. Probably nothing. Probably more sleeping in the chair. Then on Saturday, the lady who cleans our house once a month came. We went out to lunch, then to the grocery store. When we got home, Fabgrandpa was not feeling well, so I carried them all in, and put them away. Fed the cats. That was my week.
This week, we have that appointment at the endocrinologist on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, a follow up appointment with Dr. Rouse, the cardiologist. Right now, those are the only two things on my real life calendar. Except that sometime this week I have to go and visit my mother. My plan is to get at least two giveaways posted this week. I know y’all are waiting for them. Then, we’ll see. Life gets in the way sometimes.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CaringMadeEasy #CollectiveBias
Our Mother is 88 years old. She has always been a very independent, strong, hardworking woman. She raised five children, and worked a full-time job for most of the years that we were growing up. So, when she started showing signs earlier this year that she was not able to do things she has always done, it was distressing to me and my siblings. She also started doing some things that if it weren’t for the fact that they indicated her mind was slipping, it would have been funny. For instance, I took her to a doctor’s appointment in April, and she had to give a urine sample. I was in the bathroom with her, helping her with her clothing. To my surprise, she was wearing five pairs of panties, with a Poise® Liner in each pair! When I asked her why she had on so many pairs of underware, she told me that she couldn’t walk fast enough to get to the bathroom and she did not want to wet her pants.
Mama was diagnosed with dementia not long after that, and we (my three siblings and I) had to make some very hard decisions. She was falling down at home because she forgot to use her walker. After the second fall, she was taken to the hospital via ambulance. Her doctor told us she could no longer live alone. So, we decided as a family to admit her to a rehab facility to see if they could improve her strength, while we looked for an assisted living facility to move her to. Last month, we got her moved in to a nice one bedroom apartment in an assisted living home just a couple of miles from my sister’s house.
Now that Mama is in the assisted living facility, she is wearing Depend® Fit Flex Underwear for Women. These disposable undergarments are easy to get on and off, so that if Mama remembers to go to the bathroom, she can just pull them down like regular panties. And if she forgets to go, she won’t be embarrassed in front of the other residents of the facility. If she needs help changing, they are easy enough to get on and off that I am able to help her, even with my disability. Depend Fit-Flex women’s undergarments have all-around leg elastics and a smooth, close-to-body fit. When Mama has them on, no one knows she is wearing them. They are soft, quiet, and breathable so that they are comfortable to wear.
Depend® and Poise® products are both available at Sam’s Club, which makes it really easy for me to pick them up while I am shopping for other things. Sam’s Club is your one-stop shop for all things caregiving, including prescription refills, free health screenings, and health-related products. How do you care for your patients or loved ones and how can Sam’s Club help? Take a look at the Sam’s Club Caregiver page to see all the products and services available in the club. You can also shop online, which is a great time saver.
There is a sticker inside the Depend package that you can use to redeem at the Sam’s Club pharmacy for an awesome caregiver sample kit. I am going to get mine next time I go! And, if you download the Digimark app, you can scan anywhere on the Depend packaging, and it will take you to the Sam’s Club Caregiver website. How handy is that?
Mama has a hard time remembering family members. She usually thinks my sister is her mother, and she doesn’t remember my brother’s name. I decided to make her a Family Memory Book to tuck into a gift basket I am making for her.
To make the memory book, I looked through family photos on Facebook, and downloaded a photo of each family member.
**Next, I chose some pretty paper, and cut out frames for each photo using my cutting machine. I varied the shape of the frames to make the book interesting.
**Then, I pasted each photo onto a 6″ X 6″ sheet of colorful paper, and pasted a frame on each one.
**The next step was to use a marker and write each person’s name on the paper, so Mama would know who they are.
**Last, I punched holes in each sheet of paper, threaded a coordinating ribbon through the holes, and tied the ends of the ribbon in a bow. Now Mama has a small photo Family Memory Book to help her remember the names of her children and grandchildren.
Do you have a friend or relative that needs a caregiver? Are you that person? What products or services help you the most? Do you have any tips or suggestions for helping someone with dementia remember those they love most? What items would you include in a gift basket to help their transition into an assisted living facility go smoothly?