Dad


That was definitely a busy and tiring few days.

Saturday was supposed to be a quiet day as we knew once we set of to L&T’s we wouldn’t get much rest. It didn’t happen that way though. The morning was spent searching for the photo album’s mum had lent us (me aged 0-4), and the afternoon was packing and Mr H fixing up his bike to take up so he could go out with T yesterday. We didn’t get to bed until 11:30. Not nice when we were up at 5:30!

The munchkin slept on until 6 but woke for the potty and with us up wouldn’t go back to sleep. We managed to get the car packed and us all breakfasted reay to leave at 7. For what I think is the first time ever we didn’t have any delays or slow sections of the motorway to contend with. We were up at L&T’s just before 10. We had time for a cuppa and for Mr H and the munchkin to change before we all headed off to the church. The service was lovely, though I spent most of it following the munchkin around the church and taking her out to use the potty! Back at L&T’s L put on a fantastic spread. Salads, bread, meat, hot nibbles, dips, gorgeous cakes and biscuits. It was great to see the family, only one of my uncles and a couple of my male cousins were missing. Sadly the weather, while dry most of the day, was quite grey. We did sit outside under the gazebos as it was fairly warm, but we did need jackets by about 5. The munchkin loved running around the garden and trying to play with baby J. She did manage to get her foot soaked in the pond. Thankfully she didn’t get any further! Most people left by about 6. We put the munchkin and baby J in the bath together and then put the munchkin down to sleep in L&T’s bed.

That was not our best plan. We though she’d sleep well there and then when we got her up to move her to the hotel she’d settle well again there….but no! She settled to sleep fine, we got her into the car at about 9:30 without too much fuss but when we got to the hotel….oh dear… Even though they knew there were three of us in the room the single bed hadn’t been made. So off we go, get the sheets out of the wardrobe, make the bed. All the while the munchkin is wandering round waking up more and more. We get the bed made and get her settled down. Mr H and I go and sit in the en suite to try and give the munchkin some peace and quiet to go to sleep in. 15 mins later I admit defeat and go into the room to go to bed. The munchkin’s still not asleep, it’s now 11pm. She clambers in with us for a hug. Mr H complains about the mattress on his side of the bed. The munchkin is almost asleep in the double bed. Mr H gets into the single, he’s comfy, then he decides he wants to share the bed with me. Due to him needing a decent night’s sleep since he’ll have to drive home the next day we swap sides of the bed and put the munchkin back into the single. I can understand why he didn’t want to sleep on ‘his’ side of the bed, it was awful! We all eventually got to sleep at arond midnight. Mr H was awake and reading just after 7, I woke then as well as he was using his torch and facing me. The munchkin managed to sleep until just after 8. We had a leisurely get up, we put a dvd on the laptop to keep the munchkin entertained and relaxed a bit more. 

We made it to L&T’s for a late breakfast before Mr H and T packed their mountain bikes into the car and headed off for some boy time. I sat and played with baby J and the munchkin (and was reminded how hard it is to butter bread while carrying a wriggly 6 month old) until L returned from shopping for more food for the afternoon’s BBQ. T was in charge of the BBQ as L had sorted the family party on Sunday. By 12:30 L was getting very stressed as the boys hadn’t returned and T still needed to clean the BBQ. The boys returned tired and sweaty at 1 with enough time left for showers and BBQ cleaning before the party started at 2. This was a party for all their friends as they wanted to celebrate J’s christening with them as well and there wasn’t space for everyone on Sunday. There were lots of little people and lots of bumps. At one point I was the only woman out of the 5 outside not sporting a bump! I was a little jealous but I know our time will come againa t some point. Most of L’s friends from her NCT group came along. All the babies are 5/6 months old. One of them is 5 1/2 months and weighs 20 lbs! The munchkin only weighs 24 lbs and she was 2 1/2 last week…

People trickled in and out as the afternoon went on. The last ones left at about 6:30, which left Mr H, the munchkin and I. We left at 7 (hoping to miss the worst of the bank holiday traffic returning to the London area), with a parting gift of lots of biscuits (L&T had a lot of left over food yesterday). Amazingly the return journey was as clear as the journey up and we were home by 10. The munchkin slept for the first 2 1/2 hours and went straight to bed when we got home, not waking until after 7 today.

It was a fantastic weekend. L and I got on better than we often do, which was lovely. It was great to see my parents again. They’d been staying with L&T for part of last week so left yesterday morning. Dad is now suffering with facial paralysis (it developed as the drove down to L&T’s). The doctor in L’s village thinks it is Bell’s Palsy though Mum thinks it may be another stroke. He’s been given steriods to take, but he’s not really wanting to take more medication, Mum has a hard time reminding him to take his cholesterol and blood pressure tablets everyday. It wasn’t as noticeable as Mum and L had lead me to believe (they said his face was quite droopy) until Dad blinked when only one eye closed. He was even more subdued and just sat quietly with my gran, his brother, nephew and niece for most of the party on Sunday. He’s lost so much confidence over the past year. It’s not nice seeing him like this, and knowing he’s not going to get better, only worse. It’s just something we have to live with now.

We did eat a lot over the weekend, but my hard work on the diet last week definitely paid off, I lost 1/2lb this week! I just need to keep the momentum going now.

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Good morning! Just a quick update from the H household as I’ve got a lot to do today.

Firstly thanks for the lovely comments left on my last post. It was something I just had to get out somewhere and Mr H wasn’t due home for a while. Dad’s ok, he hasn’t had another TIA since, though Mum thinks he may have had a couple before. I still don’t know whether my uncle has managed to keep his house, my gran spent 2 days travelling into the city she lives near to try and lend him the money but as of yesterday afternoon she didn’t know whether it will have been enough.

My big job for today is to dismantle the munchkin’s cot and rearrange her little room to fit her big girl bed in. We’re hoping to start potty training her in the next month or so and there’s more chance of managing nights as well if she can get up to the potty if she needs to. She was starting to use her cot as a trampoline as well and it was only a matter of time before she launched herself out of the cot as she bounced.

I’m hoping to keep the munchkin downstairs as I do this so that Mr H can be here this evening when she sees her new bed, I’m not sure I’ll be able to manage that but I’ll definitely try!

In addition to that we have the usual toddler group this afternoon and then the munchkin and I are going to walk into town to do some shopping. Well I’ll walk, she’ll sit in our new (well,new to us) pushchair. We’ve got it from the local freecycle group. It’s a Jane Carrera C, offered as being broken but possibly mendable. Well Mr H has mended it (he’s replaced a broken rivet with a bolt), the walk today is to test out the mend. It’s the old version of one we were considering buying to replace the pushchair that was broken on the flight at Christmas.

Well, I’ve spent more time typing here than I was planning to, I need to make a start on the munchkin’s room. Bye!

I’ve just spoken to Mum.

Dad was due to have a driving assessment this morning relating to his dementia. However while at the test centre (before getting into the car) he had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA). He lost his speech and some movement and got very confused. It came back after about 10-15 minutes. Dad saw a doctor but I don’t think he’s going to have any more treatment due to it (Mum and I didn’t have too long to talk, dad was around and doesn’t really like being talked about). He’s already on medication for high blood pressure and has been asked to stop smoking (some hope!). As you may be able to expect he’s no longer allowed to drive (he hasn’t driven for the past couple of months anyway).

In addition to that Mum heard today that my uncle’s (her brother’s) has been repossessed, unless he can give the mortgage company £4000 by tomorrow he has lost it completely. He’s currently living with his ex-wife and her husband. My uncle has hidden this from everyone. We all knew money was tight, but not that tight.

Not a good day. Part of me wants to jump on a train and go and see Mum tomorrow but I can’t really do anything at the moment. I will try and get my next trip up sorted soon though. I wasn’t going to go until the end of April but I think I’ll try and go either the week before or after Easter instead. Back when dad was first ill last year my sister said she had a feeling that he wouldn’t be around in another year. He’s not been doing too badly lately so I’d dismissed that, but now I just don’t know. All I know is I need Mr H to get home soon and give me a big hug!

Firstly an apology…I didn’t mean to make you homesick missbliss! Your part of the country is gorgeous. I’ve had a couple of weekends away down there in the past and it’s lovely. I think the hospitable northerners thing very much depends on which part you go to and whether it’s a very urban area or not. I’ve noticed the people are definitely less friendly in the city centres. There is a lovely deciduous woodland a five minute walk from my parents’ house (they didn’t even know it was there when they bought the house). That sort of tree is lovely to be around, and crunching through the fallen leaves in the autumn and winter – hope that thought doesn’t make you more homesick!

The Shrink – we were in Ilkley on Saturday! It’s not too far away from my folks and a lovely place for a wander (and a big lunch in the Cow and Calf!)

Mumof4 – looks like it! Eh up lass! Not that my accent’s that broad, though it gets broader for a week or so after I’ve been back for a bit.

Driving over the hills to Ilkley really made me think that I belong there. Mr H and I could sell our house down here and buy a gorgeous Yorkshire stone house (with bigger bedrooms) for less money. Sadly though we’d then possibly struggle to move back down here should Mr H’s job require it. There aren’t many companies that do his kind of work in the area so relocating there could be a gamble. Who knows though, there’s a chance he’ll be made redundant again at the end of the year and we’ll probably be job hunting again. I know he likes the area (having grown up about 10 miles from me) it’s just the job security and housing thing putting him off. I certainly feel a lot more at home there, and still think of the area as my home. Coming back down here always makes me feel rather sad.

We did get some good news while we were up north. On Thursday the little rat who robbed my parents had his pre trial hearing (the trial was due to start next Monday) and changed his plea! He pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary and aggravated burglary as well as escaping from custody (he climbed over the dock when in court in August). He’s been sentenced to 6 years. As well as targeting my parents he also robbed an elderly lady in a nearby road. It’s a huge relief as Dad would not have coped well with the trial. The police man liasing with my parents called round on Friday morning to tell them the news and warn them it may be in the paper – it was the headline on the front page of the local evening paper!

Dad’s definitely a little worse than when I last saw him. He got a lot more fixated on doing things of finding out information than he has previously, but otherwise seemed not too bad. Mum said he’d had a good weekend though. Dad’s being seen by a new consultant in the little local hospital and they’re trying to work out exactly what’s wrong with him. From what I can gather from Mum he’s not quite fitting in the pattern for vascular dementia alone and may have a frontal lobe problem as well. The doctors also think Dad may be clinically depressed. Hopefully though the doctors will be able to work out soon what’s wrong and that’ll give Mum (at least) a little bit of certainty.

I need to go and finish unpacking all the things we brought back (including a lovely dolls cot and toy kitchen things for the munchkin). I hopefully be back later (or maybe tomorrow)  with some pictures from the weekend.

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Just a quick response to mumof4 in the comments. The stone houses are fab to heat as the walls are so thick they stay quite warm (once they get warm). Particularly if it’s a terraced house as there’s not far for the heat to go sideways. My parents have one and I hjave always dreamed of having my own.

Hello! It’s been so long since I didn’t a proper series of posts rather than the odd one here and there in between going away…and it’s not going to get much better for the next couple of weeks.

The munchkin and I got back from Wiltshire on Friday afternoon. It was a good week away; though I didn’t find it particularly relaxing Dad was a lot better there, smoking and drinking less than before. I think I’ve mentioned before that L (my sister) and I do not get on well, and while we can cope with 48 hours in each other’s company it gets harder after then. I was biting my tongue by the end of the week. She was trying to tell me how to bring up the munchkin (she’s happy, healthy and a bright little button – get off my case – the fact she still finger feeds much of the time isn’t a problem!), critisising me for having biscuits/cake at afternoon tea (yes I’m on a diet, but I’m on holiday – and if you can’t cope with people digging at you for eating for two – Mum not me – then don’t have a go at others) and insisting that we go where she wants to on the only sunny day that the munchkin and I were there for. Argh! Then yesterday she called asking that I post the collapsible travel cot we have promised to lend her to her now (baby’s not due until middle of November!), she didn’t like me saying that I’d dig it out later and make sure it got to her before she might need it. I had to hang up on her, which I felt bad about doing so I texted to say that I’d take it with me when I do to Mum and Dad’s at the end of next week (not quite sure how that’ll work – I’m going by train, via the London Underground with the munchkin, her pushchair and a rather large rucksack of our stuff…).

I’m getting a bit distracted there….sorry. I think I just needed to vent 🙂

It’s good to be back home with Mr H, I do miss him a lot when I’m away and in the last fortnight I’ve only seen him at weekends. We’re together now until I go north on the 31st (Mum’s got a singing weekend and I’m looking after/feeding Dad while she’s not in, she’s only going to the day on Saturday but it’ll be an early start and late finish). We’ve booked our first family holiday since the Scotland trip (May) as well…we’re going camping in the Cambridgeshire Fens near Ely this weekend. I’m hoping the weather perks up, it’s been grey and drizzly so far today.

I made it to my weigh in last night (it’s been three weeks since I was last there), I managed to speak to the leader who is happy with me missing weeks if I need to be with Mum and Dad. Technically I only get 6 weeks of ‘holiday’ a year and beyond that I have to pay for weeks I miss, but as there are no convenient groups at Mum and Dad’s I can’t make it if I go up, she’s said that as long as I let her know she won’t worry about it. Amazingly I lost 2 1/2 lbs over the last three weeks, I’m quite chuffed, though I’m still heavier than I was a couple of months ago…I’m getting there though. I’ve got the weight tracker on then tab at the top of here and if I don’t get to class or can’t stay after weigh in I’m hoping that the tracker will be a bit of accountability for me.

There’ll be no Fun Monday from me for the next two week as I’m not here then, but I’m hoping that the lovely Chris keeps updating her ‘who’s hosting next’ bit and I’ll find you all once I’m back 🙂

I’m going to go now and try and get some of the housework back under control, hopefully I’ll manage to read a few blogs this week and I’ll try and say hello to a few of you. Bye!

I got back from my parents last night. The police have caught one of the scum that took Dad’s wallet from him and took Mum’s handbag and he’s admitted taking them, but is denying being involved in other thefts in the area that the police are sure he’s involved in. His fingerprints were found in Mum’s bedroom and in Dad’s bedroom which is why he admitted taking those. He’s making nasty allegations to try and explain why his finger prints were found upstairs, but he doesn’t know that my uncle was also at my parent’s when the handbag was taken and will testify that he didn’t go upstairs that day. He’s been remanded into custody (probably a good thing as the police said he tried to escape at court so probably would have tried to jump bail) which makes my Mum feel a little safer. The police have paid for lots of new locks on all their external doors and installed a camera in the hallway (only going to be there for 2 months or so) which is helping, but Mum’s still lost all her security, they’ve lived in that house for 29 years and hadn’t had a single problem until this.

Dad’s dementia is definitely worsening, he’s getting more confused. His driving is not good, Mum has got to contact the DVLA and his insurance company soon. I suspect he won’t be allowed to drive any more when she does so. He’s drinking more and smoking in the region on 60 cigarettes a day so Mum’s also worrying about how they’re going to afford that too. She’s had fantastic support from friends at their church, one couple have even lent Mum £500 to tide them over until the bank start being more co-operative. Dad may not be given any more bank cards, the bank are refusing at the moment as they’re saying Dad must have told the thieves the PINs, though he says he didn’t (I suspect he can’t remember or must have blanked it out, the thief says he found the PINs in some of Dad’s paper work in the living room – they definitely weren’t there).

We’re all (except Mr H who’s working) going to my gran’s in Wiltshire on Monday for a family holiday. Mum and Dad, L (with large bump) and T, Nana and the munchkin and I….I think there’ll be a rather full house! Mum’s going to be sleeping on the dining room floor so that the munchkin and I can have one spare room, L and T the double spare and Dad the third spare room (my gran has a huge house for just her). I’m hoping the time away will be a chance for us all to relax, especially Mum and Dad, though I suspect there’ll be several phone calls from the police sorting this, that and the other out while they’re there.

I’m back home next Friday, though I’m in London for a pamper day/photoshoot thing on Saturday (I won it after filling in something while I was in town shopping one day, I’m taking the munchkin’s God-mother V with me, the cheapest photo costs £50 so I probably won’t get any, I’ll put them up if I do) so I won’t be able to post then. Thank you to everyone who’s left a comment, it means a lot to me that people I don’t know any off line are thinking of us. I’ll try and come by and say hello once I’m back from my gran’s.

I’m heading up to my parents tomorrow so you won’t see a Fun Monday from me (not that I wear an apron if I can help it…).

Mum’s coping, trying to be strong – I’m not allowed to give her too many hugs. Dad’s not coping so well. Mum thinks he’s already forgetten the theft of her handbag, but he definitely hasn’t forgotten the night time one. He’s not eating much at all, drinking more again and smoking more. He’s also avoiding going out. I’m try an post a brief post while I’m there but otherwise I should be back home by the weekend.

Take care everyone.

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