2013 Goals

So, I’ve been thinking about my goals for the coming year. Of course I’ll be focusing on my health. Particularly on losing the weight that I’ve regained. Last week I was at 176 lbs, my goal is to get back down to 145.

It’s completely ridiculous for me to be yo-yoing in my weight, especially since I know what I should be doing. I know how to lose the weight. I know that being lazy, weak and complacent is what got me back up there. And I know that my poor health choices have been at least partially a result of the stress around all the mom stuff.

So there. Goal #1, get back down to 145 by making healthy food choices the majority of the time, and by intentionally sweating (aka exercise) 6 days a week.

My other goal has to do with quilting. I went through and organized my fabric. I had no idea that I had so many “kits” put together that are just waiting to be sewn and quilted. I definitely have enough to keep me busy for the next year. So my goal is to complete the kits and UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) that are sitting there in the grocery bags awaiting my attention. I’m also placing a moratorium on buying new fabric, except as needed to complete the goal (like for backings and bindings).

So that’s goal #2.

I think 2 goals is plenty for this year, especially with everything else going on – mom, trying to buy a house, and general life.

Prizes are still coming. I’m thinking every 10 pounds I get a little prize. I think I get a little prize for every completed quilt.

Prizes are things that I like, but that I can never justify the cost for…
Haircut (10 lbs gone)
Massage (20 lbs gone)
Movie with popcorn and snacks (30 lbs gone)

I’ll need to re-count my projects to come up with the right number/scale of prizes. I’ll post again later once I’ve figured that out.

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Updates…

Update on Mom:
Those of you who know me in real life have probably heard that my mom is in hospice now. Her condition has declined a lot. Long story short, her last stroke basically advanced her dementia to the point that she’s having trouble swallowing, she’ll spit out her meds if you don’t trick her into taking them, she doesn’t recognize us kids, she can’t sit up (she basically sleeps all day), and she can’t communicate meaningfully. Every time I see her I want to cry. I usually do.

Update on household stuff:
We’ve been looking for a house to buy, but we keep getting outbid. The last house we put in an offer on had over 50 bids! Insane, right? There’s just not a lot on the market right now so everything is going for so much over the asking price and there are soooo many bids!

DH and I have been working through cleaning up our house. We’ve realized that the clutter is really stressful, and the best thing we can do is start to reduce. It’s also a good thing because it means that if we ever buy a house we’ll have less to move!

Update on quilting:
I made my first minky quilt. Man, that sucked. The quilt was cute, but minky is a bitch to work with! I also went to a quilt retreat and finished 3 quilt tops and sandwiched the Christmas quilt. I haven’t done any other sewing, though.

As part of my decluttering, I’ve been trying to organize the fabric, patterns, batting and quilt books so that they don’t take up as much space and are easier to find. I discovered that I have “kits” of at least 5 different quilts, I have at least 7 different tops finished that need quilting, and I have a TON of other fabric. *sigh* No matter how much I organize and reorganize it just doesn’t make it any easier to quilt.

Update on health:
I finally went to see a psychologist. I realized that I’m pretty depressed and I have been for awhile. It all came to a head with the latest mom stuff. So I’m talking it through with a doctor. It seems to be helping a little bit.

It’s really hard to work up the gumption to run – and I have a half marathon with DH in January. He’s been good about trying to get me to run, but it’s hard to want to do it. My ankle kinda hurts after my run on Sunday. I’m hoping that wrapping it will help with keeping the training going.

So I think that’s it. I’m looking forward to the new year and the resolutions it always brings. I know at least one of them will be sewing related, and another will be health related. It’s just a matter of figuring out what I want them to be.

TTFN and Merry Christmas!

Things are bad with Mom

Mom had another stroke this week – it was a doozy. She’s pretty much lost the ability to swallow. She doesn’t understand most of what we say. She doesn’t say much besides “Mom”, “help”, “yes”, “no”, “OK”. Sometimes I can get an “I love you” out of her, but I don’t know if she’s saying it out of reflex/mimicking, or if she’s expressing actual emotion. She’s lost about 10 pounds in a little over a week. She’s bed bound now. We have a meeting with palliative care on Monday. I’m going to push for hospice. I don’t think Mom will last long.

Today when I was visiting – which is really just sitting by the bed and rubbing her leg/arm when she calls out – she reached for my face and held her hand to it. She said “love you.” I knew that she was expressing real emotion there. I cried bittersweet tears. I said “I love you too, Mama.” Then she went back to snoring.

Losing a parent is hard. I’ve sought help with a psychologist to help me through this. My husband is great and so supportive. I know things would be 10 times harder without him. (I Love you babe!!!)

So… that’s what’s going on. NO new quilting. No training for the half marathon. Just a lot of panic, fear, worry, sadness, and a tinge of relief.

Update

Believe it or not, I have been quilting.  I’ve just been too lazy to post the pictures I took of the quilts and quilt tops.

The other day I finished my first 100% Minky quilt.  Man, was that a challenge.  It turned out cute, but I doubt I’ll ever make one again.

I also planned out a scrap quilt made up of over 4,000 2.5″ half square triangles.  Yep.  Insane, right?  Even crazier? I started it. 

My brother unearthed the 3rd and 4th quilt tops I ever finished.  One is a bento box pattern done entirely in John Deere colored solids.  I’d forgotten how bright that yellow and green were – whew!  I’d also forgotten how HUGE that top is.  I think it’ll fit a full-sized bed.  I worry that I won’t be able to quilt it properly on my little Singer machine.

The other is a Hawaiian sampler quilt.  My in-laws brought back some Hawaiian quilt patterns for me in the early 2000s.  I picked out my 9 favorite patterns and experimented with applique.  It’s another bright top, done with hot pink, teal blue, bright yellow and bright green. I’d originally planned on making it into a duvet cover, but now I think it’ll just end up being another quilt. 

I finished a top that I’m calling the “guy quilt”.  It’s all done in brown, blue, and gray stripes and plaids.  I found a guitar fabric on sale that I was able to buy with my gift card, so I’ll probably use that on the back and give it to my father in law.

I completed my first patriotic quilt top.  The sample had a white background, with blue and red 2.5″ strips.  I decided to go with a light gray background, since several of the strips had white in them already.  It turned out pretty cute.  I found more of one of the red fabrics from the top to use on the back, and the binding will be blue fabric with red stars.

One of my coworkers is getting a black, white and eggplant quilt.  She’s so excited – especially since her backing fabric came in.  She knows it won’t be too much longer before she has a quilt to snuggle under in this rainy weather.

Another coworker gave me some black, white and red fabric from another friend who was giving up quilting.  I used some of that to complete another top.  That’ll be backed in a red flannel – cozy!

I also have another wall quilt top almost completed.  It’s all done in Asian fabrics.  I just need to applique some flowers into the corners and then quilt it all together.

So…  that’s what I’ve been up to on the quilting front.  Sorry – no pictures.  I’m just not feeling motivated to deal with the photo uploader on wordpress right now.

We also started the house buying process.  We’re pre-approved for a loan and even made an offer on a house.  We were outbid by all cash offers and people who were waiving the appraisal contingency. 😦  It’s a hot market for sellers right now in our area.  There are tons of offers on every house – even the ones that say “cash only.”  Many are going for $50k or more over asking price.  Oh well.  We’ll just keep saving and keep looking, right?

That’s it for now…

Mom again

Mom’s back in the hospital. They took her by ambulance to the ER after calling my sister. When my sister saw mom, she wasn’t responding to most stimulus. Mom wasn’t responding to words, sight or touch. She just kept shouting “Mom” like she does when she’s deep in distress and suffering another stroke.

I wasn’t there, but my sister called. I beat the ambulance to the ER. The paramedics had trouble getting her to sit still to get any readings. But by the time they got to the ER she was a bit calmer. I walked up, rubbed her arm and said “Hi Mama, how are you.” She smiled and said “Hi. OK.” That was the first thing she’d said besides “mom” in almost an hour.

She has improved a bit since then. The doctors say that she has an acute UTI, which caused stroke-like symptoms. The problem is that she’s had so many TIAs that they can’t see new ones because of all the damage from the old ones.

Once she wakes up, I’ll do her memory exercises again. Before we left last night, she remembered her own Name. She also remembered she had 3 kids, but could only really remember my name with any regularity.

Us kids have a meeting with her doctor and care team in a couple hours to talk about next steps. Hopefully her prognosis is good.

Small Change

Remember how at the beginning of the year, I posted that one of my goals was to complete 1 quilting or sewing project each month? I’ve been doing really well with that, right? Well, I’m going to have to amend that goal.

I’d defined “complete” as being completely ready to use or gift… all the way down to the label and binding being attached. But here’s the thing: DH and I are planning to buy a house within the next few months. We know that whatever home we buy will need some kind of work, even if it’s just paint and floors. So, to afford these future costs, we’re cutting expenses now and putting that money aside.

I’m still planning on finishing quilt tops. I have a lot of fabric that’s set aside for specific projects. I just don’t have enough fabric for backing so that I can actually complete the quilts.

So that’s it… just a little change to the terms of my goals… 🙂

Sad, depressing, dementia post

I visited my mom today, as I do nearly every Friday. And, like I usually do, I came away feeling sad.

I miss my mommy.

A few months ago, we moved her into a different board and care facility. It seemed to be serendipitous when we drove up and brought her for a site visit. The house was on Normandy so she wouldn’t be wrong (on her bad days, she reverts to believing it’s the 70s and she lives on Normandie), and there were calla lillies in the front yard (she loves callas). There was a piano in the living room (she played piano as a child) and some of the nurses used to work at the Masonic Home, so they were super nice. We got her approval and she moved in.

Mom is calmer now than she was at the old place, but she’s less alert. Her memory isn’t as good as it was at the old place either. She regularly asks me how my classes are going (I finished school 2 years ago), she asks me how my kids are (no kids for me), and she doesn’t remember a lot of her favorite things (like recipes she used to cook all the time, the words to her favorite songs, etc.).

It’s gotten to the point, now, that I dread visiting because I know that I’ll just end up really, really sad afterwards. Of course, I visit anyway because she needs that human contact with people who love her. I cry as I drive home almost every time.

What brought today’s sadness on was that I wanted to ask her advice about buying a house, and I couldn’t. I had to settle for asking about when she bought the house on Normandie, and the house I grew up in. She couldn’t remember anything. She didn’t remember looking at houses, what made her know that these houses were “the one”, her fears about the process… nothing. I tried not to let my sadness and disappointment show, but I think the other residents saw it. One lady gave me a sad smile when I looked away from mom for a minute.

I tried to finish the visit on a positive note. I don’t ever want her to feel that she has done something wrong, when she hasn’t. I talked about running, how hard DH is working, good things that are happening at work (even though I’m so upset at work right now I want to scream), the crock pot meals I’ve been cooking, the baseball tickets I have, etc. Then I told her I loved her, gave her a kiss and walked out the door. In tears.

It’s times like this – where something big is happening in my life – that I miss her most. People who haven’t had a loved one go through dementia/Alzheimers, don’t really understand. The body is there, but the mind (that thing that makes her who she is) is not. That’s what I’m mourning. That’s what I miss. That’s what makes me cry as I’m reminded every Friday when I visit.

I love you mom. I miss you, so much.

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