Monday, May 2, 2016

Changing Diapers can be a Grandma's Best Friend

I remember the "good old days" when there were only cloth diapers.  What a stinky, yucky thing to deal with.  It grosses my children out, when I explain how you took care of poopy diaper by rinsing them in the toilet first!  There was absolutely no fun in that.

However, with my newest grandchild, I have discovered the wonderful opportunity it presents when changing him.  I have never seen a baby who loves having his diaper changed, but this precious little one loves it.  He can be rather upset, and when you lay him down to change him...he's all smiles.

I look forward to diaper changes because it is then that I get to look directly into his face, and interact with him with his undivided attention.  That is why changing diapers can be such a great time for grandma.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could get that same kind of time and attention from your older children, and especially teenagers?  When is the last time you have stared into their face and noticed how special each of them are?  When is the last time they have looked directly into your eyes, and smiled lovingly at you?  If I could change one thing in my life, it would be to have appreciated more, the time I had with my children when they were younger.  Believe it or not, that time rolls by quickly before you notice it.

Don't be in a hurry to make your children grow up.  That is going to happen, and one day you will stop and wonder where the time has gone. So here are my words of wisdom:
1. Make time to look into their eyes, and I mean REALLY LOOK at them.  See the special person   they are changing in to.
2. Let them know that you love them. 
3.Smile at them for no reason at will drive them crazy!
4.Make time to listen.  It's easy to be the one doing all the talking, but what most of us need is a good listener.
5.remind your teenagers that you were once one.  Be willing to share your experience, and help them cope with what they are experiencing.
6.Life is tough. Give your children those hugs and kisses that you poured upon them when they were a baby.  They may act like they hate it...but really they don't!
7.Lastly, give them your undivided attention.  Smile and laugh with them while you still have the opportunity to do so.

And, as for me...I will continue to look forward to diaper changes, because it is then that I get to see a little bit of heaven in the eyes of my grandson.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Did he really say that out loud?

After listening to Pres. Obama's State of the Union; I found myself in a "state" of shock.  Did he really say those things aloud?  Certainly, an American President would never threaten the congress...I must have misunderstood the insertion of the word, myself."  I thought our country was run by an Elected President who follows the Constitution.  His role is to work within the legislative branch, and govern to the best of his abilities, and the items stated in the constitution.

Personally, I thought the president came off as a snotty class room bully.  His comments about having a pen and a phone, and he'll make things happen with or without congress.  Just what is it that his words conveyed?

1. I ,Obama , am the ruler, King, Savior of the world.

2. You'd better follow me or I will cause Kingly punishments to reign upon you.

3. Rich people need to give away everything they can, and try to be poor.  It will make everyone else happy.

4. There is only one way to do things....MY WAY!

5. Now all you poor people; we are going to load up your food stamp cards, get you a better phone,
and help you learn to be rich without any education or work. (This sounds perfect doesn't it!)

6. If you are here worries... "Celebrate Good Times, Come ON!"

7.If you are not black you can never understand our color issues.  Thereby, we will be putting all white folks into human baking ovens called, Tanning Salons.  When you finally get out, you should look like a Michelle Obama.

8.Did you know that we are not all "folks?"  I was heart broken to learn that folks doesn't include most of us.It must be special to be a folk!

9. I hope all you young, healthy folks in your twenties sign up for the new Obama Health Care Plan. It's only fair that the young and healthy pay enormously for the old, the fat, and shall we say "Seasoned" folks around you.

10.Success is measured in how many people like you (that wouldn't be a long list sir... It's also determined by the months you have managed to stay unemployed and receive benefits by sitting on your butt at home and watching your oversized TVS.

11. There will be provided ways to take care of illegal imigrants.  Sign them up for free registration for a driver's license, a new cell phone, and all the groceries you can get. Furthermore, YOU and YOUR CHILDREN will be personally brought to the King, oh I mean Obama, sorry for that.  Upon arrival you will be put on the Obama's list of Black Americans who attend his parties.  You can "get down" dancing with Michelle, and rub shoulders with all the other poor people who are there pretending to be rich.  If you are really lucky, the President (the My Highness), may sing a song to you.  He knows about EVERYTHING.  I'm surprised that small head can contain so much.

12. Be prepared to give up more freedoms, and remember that the Emperor has stated his rules, and who are we to question the all knowing, and ruling President Barrock Obama.

I hope my writing has helped you to understand the meanings of many Obama statements.  It sure has been fun to make fun of them!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013



It has taken me almost a month, to write about the passing of my mother.  Although we knew that her dying was a distinct possibility, we secretly  hoped for a miraculous recovery, or at the least...the ability to stand.

For the last 3 years, my mother has been wheel-chair bound.  She has only had the ability to feed herself.  I've watched my father check her sugar level, administer shots, give her showers, and clean her up in ways we never thought we'd have to do. I have teased my Dad
that he should have earned his CNA by now.

Poor mom has had a catheter in place for years.  This has led to many infections.  Her sugar has remained out of control, and she had heart disease and chronic leukemia.  Ultimately, it was her diabetes that took her.

At the time you are watching someone age, and deteriorate before your eyes; it's difficult to remember that person in better days.  My mother was a survivor, a wife, mother, grandma, and great-grandmother. She was a sister, Aunt, and great friend.  Mom was never one to shy away from hard work, or difficult things.

Her will to live, propelled her through many difficult health problems.  Many times we were sure that she would not survive, but she would rally and live on.  That is why it was extrememly  difficult to accept that she had left us on May 21, 2013.  For my posterity, and my own need to process; I want to describe the last few days of her life, and the aftermath.

First of all, Mom had gotten to the point where Dad and I could not care for mom any longer at home.  She could not assist us in getting her up.  This was a heart-wrenching conclusion for my father to come to.  He so wanted her to be with him at home, and he had given his entire life up to take care of mom.  So when we finally took her to the hospital; it was very difficult because we knew that from there, she would have to go into a care center ( that name is an oxymoron if ever there was one.)  

Mom was put into a local care center.  We picked the one in the area that was rated the best.
Dad would come and stay with her every morning until noon or after; then I would come at 5:00 and stay until she went to bed. It wasn't home, but we felt she was safe there, and hoped...well cared for.  There comes that word "care" again.  I will discuss that later in this piece.

On Friday, May 17, 2013 we met with the director of nursing, the Social Worker, my husband, my father, and myself.  At that time we all signed off on the plan for mom...which instructed the care center to provide only comfort care.  She had a DNR on her, there was no chance for improvement, and there was not anything that could humanly be done to help her get better.  We directed them, that there was to be no life saving attempts made on her.
She was not to be transported from the facility.

Over that weekend, Mom became weaker and was completely unable to feed herself.  She didn't want to eat, her sugar was very high, and her blood pressure was equally high.  However, she was responsive and talked to all of us.  Monday morning, May 20th, Kiley and I went to see mom.  My sweet little grand-daughter was the last great grandchild to see grandma.  When we left Kiley gave her a big hug and kiss, and I told mom I loved her and would see her that evening.

Herein begins the beginning of the end.  When I came in around 5:00 PM Monday evening.  Mom was not in her room.  She was never out of her room.  I went from wing to wing of the hospital, and couldn't find her. Eventually, someone at the desk told me she was out in the ambulance that I had walked by coming in.  I ran out to the ambulance, looked in the back of the ambulance, and saw mom's face.  She looked so afraid and confused.  I told her everything would be ok, and I ran around to the side of the ambulance to talk to the EMTS.

They said they had been called because her blood pressure and sugar were high!   They had been high, and some little twit didn't read her chart and called the ambulance.  Once she was in there, they were obligated to take her to the hospital.  I was beside myself.  Neither my father, or myself had been called.  They knew she was not to be moved. I will be forever haunted by my mother's face and eyes looking at me.

Dad and I rushed to the hospital and awaited mom.  After waiting well over an hour, I asked for the fourth time if we could go back.  We were taken back only to find they were getting ready to do all kinds of x-rays etc on her.  Dad told them no, and I went and talked to the ER doctor, who was pretty good about the whole thing.

I can't even begin to recount the numerous mishaps, and miscommunication that happened in the ER over the last three hours mom was there.  It was one thing after another.  Finally, they called Red Cliffs (care center) to come pick her up.  A CNA arrives in a van with no wheelchair, gurney, or anything.  Mom was completely despondent after this. She never spoke a word while she was there, and we never heard another word from her.  That breaks my heart.

The actions in the ER certainly hastened her demise.  They flushed her catheters until blood was draining like a hose through it.  The doctor said she was not going to live much longer. By the time we got Mom back to the care center, I really felt like I was going to combust at any moment.  I was furious at what they had put my Mother through.

Tuesday morning arrived, and I received a call from the care center that they couldn't find a pulse on Mom.  I rushed over, and there was dad.  He looked 20 years older at the moment, and had obviously been crying.  My kids all came over and told her good-bye, and dad and I stayed with her until she left this life.

All day we watched the blanket go up and down as she fought to breathe.  She was laboring so hard to stay here.  Finally, Jonathan asked the nurse if they could give her something to help her breathe easier and relax.  Eventually, as approved by the doctor, they gave her some morphine and adavan under her bottom lip.  They couldn't get it in her because her teeth were clenched.  But the drugs helped, and we watched as the blanket rose slower and slower.

Dad and I had talked to her all day, held her hands, and loved on her.  Just before 3:45 PM, I told dad that I didn't think the blanket was rising anymore.  We heard the death gurgle, and felt the life come right out of her mouth.  Her eyes were opened, and looking upward as if someone was there for her.  We called a nurse to listen for the heartbeat, but she was gone.
I threw myself over my mom and cried like a little child. My mom was gone.  Dad was so chocked with emotion, that I just wanted to make everything better for him.

It was not a Hollywood death.  It was a wrenching, painful thing to watch.  But I am so grateful that Dad and I were there with her.  She wasn't alone, and Dad wouldn't leave her until the mortuary had arrived, and assured him that he would take good care of her.
How grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I know I will see my mom again, but I miss her so much.

Now, I mentioned the care center.  It was anything but caring.  No one cared when she died, and she was just another patient to them...but she was special to us.  We never heard one word from them after she died.  Not a phone call, a card, nothing.  Let me list the things I saw while I was there.

1. Someone took my mother's soiled sweat pants, rinsed them out, and hid them in an empty closet.  I would never have found them except for the fact I was looking for her lost slipper.

2. One day I went in, and there were ants everywhere.  Their custodian came in and sprayed something that was so strong, we had to change rooms.

3. Many of the employees there, do not know what they are doing.  They were rough when changing her, and moving her about.  Heaven only knows what she went through when we weren't there.

4. As mom was dying, her bowels let loose.  The smell was awful.  I asked a male CNA in the hall if they could come change her.  He questioned why, if she were dying.  There was no thought of human dignity in her last moments.  When he did change her, he flopped her around like a bag of potatoes.  If I hadn't been standing there, my Mom's face would have hit the side bar several times. But I put my hand between mom's face and the bars.  Her arms and legs were just like a rag doll.  It was frightening to watch.

5. People who worked there, did not communicate with one another. People were coming in with her lunch, to check her blood, etc.  We had to tell them she was dying.

A care center is nothing but a place to house the elderly, and those who can't help themselves. It is not a caring environment, but rather one of forced duty, and "poor me" attitudes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Spirit... FASCINATING!

It has been awhile since I have faced the blank screen of my blog. It hasn't been for a lack of things to write about. Afterall, I live such an exciting, fascinating life. Today on the Katie Show, I heard the guest say she had to decide between being fascinating, or being all about getting the job done. This caused me to ponder my life, as well as the holiday season. Sadly, I've had to admit that I am more about getting the job done....but I would LOVE to be FASCINATING! Just think of how much that would change my life. For instance, when I go walking and pass runners and bikers, who look at me like I'm a turtle in motion; instead of the cold blank stares, they would say something like, "Hi" to me (because they could see just how fascinating I was.)FASCINATING! My family would no longer ask, "What's for dinner?" Because they would alreadsy know that whatever I fixed would be totally yummy, and FASCINATING! No more sighs, or sneers...they would just love the food. Being FASCINATING would also help me when shopping. No longer would I be glared at in the parking lot, shoved in the aisles of the grocery store, and no longer would someone let their flipping cart hit into my car. All because I was FASCINATING! Perhaps, being fascinating might be too much work for someone like myself. I don't mind the snotty people on the trail; I enjoy being out in nature. The people in the stores just make me want to get out of there quicker...which saves me money. So thank you to all of the less than nice people at Wal-mart. I appreciate you contributing to my savings account. Now, where I have to draw the line is with the shopping carts. Fascinating or not...can't people walk a few extra steps and put their cart away? Consider it a service project. It really helps out all those young men, who have to run around the parking lot, herding carts in from all over the surrounding businesses. Really, fascinating is what the entire Christmas Spirit is about. Consider the birth of Jesus, and all who traveled to witness him. Think of the countless acts of service given by people all over the world. Consider the people who volunteer at the homeless shelter, feed the hungry, console the broken hearted, and share the good news of the gospel. These things are not only fascinating....but wonderful. Reflect upon the many soldiers who won't be home for another Christmas. Consider the sacrifice of the soldier's family. I for one, am happy to be about getting the job done, and I appreciate all those who "get it done" for me and my family. Thank you to the person who delivers the mail, the newspaper man or woman who gets up at 4:00 AM to deliver my paper. Thank you to the outstanding doctors who have taken care of me, and kept me on this earth. Thank you to my friends and family who love me for being me...a less thasn fascinating person:) I guess when you stop to really contemplate your life; you soon realize how utterly fascinating your life really is. Each time I kiss or squeeze one of my grandchildren I know how much my life has been blessed. They are the light of my life. I live for every moment I can share with them. They are truly fascinating, smart, beautiful, and awesome people. One day I'll write a book called, "Everything I learned from my Grandchildren and Children." It would be a best seller:) Thank you to Rachel for teaching me how to love. She was the perfect first child. Thank you to Dave for teaching me how to be a doctor. He provided lots of opportunities for me during his early years. Thank you to Mark for teaching me first aid, and how to recognize a battery from a cyclinder. He also has taught me the value of a daily phone call to people we love. Thank you to Jon for saving my life, and being my buddy. Soon I will have to let him be someone else's best buddy...but that's all good. Thank you to Justin, Tab, and Pam for choosing to come into our family. We love all of you too. Fascinating is just a word. But, nevertheless, fascinating in, and of itself. I guess it's all about how you choose to view your life, and everything around you. You know, life is fascinating, and it's all about being present for the ones you love. Happy Holidays to all of my fascinating family and friends.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Where does the fat go?

Every morning I subject myself to a terrifying experience....I weigh myself. This can either start my day out well, or crappy depending on what the number reveals. Every day it's down a pound and up two; down three and up one. Where does the fat go? It's not like I can rip off a pound or two before bedtime each night. And it's not like a stay up late and eat myself into oblivian! My stomach is flat, my clothes fit...but that darn fat comes and goes like a thief in the night.

Maybe fat is a state of mind? When I read the Special K box of cracker chips, and see that 36 chips equals 110 calories...I don't assume that equates to three pounds of fat...but it seems to. When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't read any words or labels that say FAT, but when I look at skinny women I think to myself, "Charlotte, you are fat." Why can't we look at one another without labels, without comparisons, without judgement?

Imagine what the world would be if everyone accepted each other for who they are. Why should I feel guilty when I eat 37 chips instead of 36...and why the heck am I having to count the chips anyway?

I know wonderful women who are not model thin, but they are model people. I hope they realize how much I love and admire them for who they are. Of course, we'd all like to be thinner, cuter, craftier...but we seldom stop to realize what we have been blessed with. The ability to laugh at ourselves, our committment to a power and religion greater than ourselves, being a mother and being an involved mother. Fat people...let's unite. Let's celebrate our uniqueness. Cut yourself a break and realize that pounds don't define us. If they do...YOUR CRAZY! Be proud of who you are and what you stand for. Don't worry about where the fat goes at night. Rejoice that you are here on the earth at this time, and this dispensation of the fullness of time. You and I matter...fat or not!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful To Be Thankful

Well, it's almost Thanksgiving. For the last week I have contemplated everything I am thankful for. It all boils down to.... I am thankful to be thankful. There have been many times in my life, where I could have left this earth. Thankfully, Heavenly Father has allowed me to remain here on the earth, where it is such a blessing to live.

I think about each of my eight living grandchildren, and little Tanner that is laid to rest at the Washington City Cememtery. Those grandchildren mean everything to me. Each of them bring so much to my life.

Matt is my first grandchild. We have watched him grow into a smart, and loving 11 year old boy. Matt always has a smile for me, as well as a loving hug.Matt is so smart.

Talia is our first redhead. She is beautiful and loves science. She wants to be a doctor. I hope she will pursue that dream. Talia can always make me laugh.

Emily is our oldest dancer. She has been dancing since she was 4 years old. It has been beautiful to watch her mature, and come out of her shell.Emily is smart and cute all in one.

Cicily is our drama queen. She could be on Broadway. She loves to act, sing, and dance. Cicily is always kind to all the younger kids. She is beautiful and a great helper.

Nate the great is our second redhead. He is a hoot. If there is dirt, you'll find Nate. He can dig a hole as big as himself in no time! Nate is a cute boy, and likes being in Kindergarten.

Shelby is a beautiful 4 year old, and grandma's girl. We love each other very much. Shelby loves to laugh, dance, smile, and play. There is never enough play time for Shelbs. She is beautiful.

Xander is our special little angel. He has a form of autism, but is making great headway at his pre-school. He has such a sweet personality, and is very loving. He looks like his dad, and always has a hug and kiss for me.

Kiley is my baby. She is the kindest, sweetest little child. She gives more hugs and kisses than anyone. I love to listen to Kiley talk. And seeing her dance is pure joy. She has the most beautiful blue eyes.

Tanner is gone from us. But I had the sacred priviledge of holding him for a few minutes. I look forward to meeting and holding him one day. I know he is an angel.

I love my children. Each of them is different. There are times that they push my buttons, but I wouldn't trade any of them....challenges and all.

I'm thankful for Larry. He drives me nuts sometimes, but he is a good man, and tries very hard to keep me happy. That's a full time job:)

So, at this Thanksgiving, I am thankful to be here "on the right side of the dirt. I've been lost, I've been lonely, I've been hurt." But through it all, I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, and knows of my hallenges. Thank you Heavenly Father for loving me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Being Up Close and Personal with a Rock!

I know my title sounds strange, but so was my experience with "the rock!"
It was Thursday evening, and I was hurrying to Horizon Elementary to watch Katie's dance group. When I arrived, there was absolutely no parking. It was crazy! If I owned an open lot over there, I would have opened it up for parking. I'm sure there were plenty of us that would have paid $5.00 to park somewhere near the school.

However, after trying every parking trick I knew, I ended up parking at the bottom of a hill. The hill itself was no problem, but time was. It was 6:10PM and I knew she was performing at 6:20PM, so I walked as fast as my knee hardware could. I reached the edge of the school property, and decided to cut across on the dirt, instead of following the sidewalk. (I should have listened to the words of my dad and my husband...stay on the path!) But, no, I knew I could make it in time if I shaved a couple of minutes camera and purse in hand I took off across the dirt.

That's when I had my encounter of the most "embarrassing" kind. To this day, I am not quite sure what happened, but I do remember my body sailing through the air in slow motion. Remember that science law that says, "A body in motion tends to stay in motion?" Well, THEY WERE STINKING RIGHT!
I had so much momentum going, that I couldn't even begin to stop myself. The next thing I knew, I felt my head hit a rock the size of China, ( was the size of a plate), nevertheless, my head and neck bounced off that thing like a trampoline. Then...nothing.

The next thing I knew, I had this sweet young couple standing over me and asking if I was ok. I was covered with dirt, had smashed my sunglasses, and was throbbing in pain and dizzy...but other than that...I was great! I tried to stand up, which was not a good plan. I now understand how a drunk person feels. I could not stand up straight, or keep my legs from buckling. The kind young man took hold of me, pulled my 600 pounds of flesh off the ground, and sat me on the curb.

Tears, along with my mascara and dirt were falling off my face. Who needs a Halloween costume! The tears were as much from embaraasment, as injury. Several people from the ward walked by, and asked if I wanted a ride home...but I assurred everyone I could drive myself home. This sweet woman and her husband then proceeded to wipe my arms and face off with their baby wipes. That act of kindness, made me cry all the more. I suppose that is why they used "baby" wipes:)

After several minutes of humiliation, I convinced my good samaritans that I was ok. But the husband insisted on holding my hand and helping me down to my car. They made me turn on the air, and take some water to drink. Then, bless their hearts, they followed me home.

Now I suppose there should be a moral to this story, so here it is. Stay on the path! When we venture off the safety of the path, we are in danger of getting lost, or getting hurt. I couldn't help but think of the conference talk I am giving in Relief Society tomorrow. The lesson is on Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk, "Covenants." If we stay on the path ( the Lord's path), we have been promised great blessings. If we stray off the path, or to the edge of the path, we allow Satan to try and tempt us.

I'm not blamming anyone but myself, and my shoes for my fall; but I can't help but wonder if I wouldn't have fallen if I had stayed on the sidewalk. Fortuneately, I was not seriously hurt. I have a knot on the head, 2 terribly bruised knees, a sprain left hand,an appreciation for the kindness of strangers, and a stomped on ego! Maybe I'll go back to the scene of the crime, and bring that rock home to remind me to stay on the path. I hope all of you are on it with me:)