Friday, March 2, 2018

My mother has Alzheimer’s

My mom has Alzheimer’s. There, I said it… my mother has Alzheimer’s. She physically appears fine, but her brain isn’t functioning as it use to, her thoughts aren’t nearly as sharp and or course her short-term memory is about 2-3 minutes. It can be hard and exhausting to be a caregiver for her. (I praise my husband and brother for being her #1 caregivers.)

My mother needs us now more than ever. It is hard. It is so hard! But I have to remind myself that her disease isn’t any different than what took my father 10 years ago. My dad suffered a long and difficult battle with emphysema. 

When I get frustrated with my mom for her unprovoked mood swings or for asking the same thing hundreds of times a day I have to remember it’s not her... it’s her brain, an organ that is shutting down. Similar to my father, when he was down to 20% oxygen intake, I never would have gotten mad at him for not getting more oxygen in his lungs… it was his lungs, an organ that was shutting down.

So, I have been pro-active today to help me in my future because I don’t want my children to have to do what I have done for both of my parents. I don’t smoke, I exercise regularly and I’m focusing on preparing better meals for the family.

I now know I am 30% chance more likely to get Alzheimer. 30 PERCENT!!! That’s terrifying. Other than living a healthy and active life, studies show there isn’t much else I can do to prevent a future diagnosis. But I refuse to accept that. So I exercise my brain the best I know how to: I read, I think, I work and I challenge myself to solve problems, I listen to music, I try new things, etc.

Side note: My biggest plan to beat this is choreographed dance. Yep, you cracked the code… I am a certified Jazzercise instructor because selfishly it’s the push I need to beat this disease. More on that later.

In the meantime, I will continue to care for my mother, as I continue to work full-time with a demanding career, with a husband that travels 2 weeks a month, with a very active family of three boys who keep things hopping. I do this because one day this could be me. THIS COULD BE ME!!! If Alzheimer decides to invade my brain, I don’t want my boys to abandon me when I need them most. Life is hard and caring for a parent with Alzheimer is a bitch!

Vincenzo helps Grandma exercise her brain as he teaches her to play chess.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I don't know everything and neither do you

There is one person I can't have a conversation with... those that know everything, aka "know-it-alls." The people I have the most respect for are those that ask questions, those that want to learn and those that can admit they don't know everything.

A conversation with me come to a fast halt once I realize I'm talking to someone who knows everything. Why would I continue to engage in the conversation? They already know everything. They clearing have no intention of listening to me or learning my stance, so I don't waste my time.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Red is my favorite color

My favorite color is RED. I have loved the color red since I was a young girl. However, because it was my favorite I thought it was everyone's favorite. I guess at that young innocent time in my life I didn't realize how different we all really were. I thought everyone was like me. I thought everyone was Catholic, everyone had two parents, everyone ate pasta 3-5 times a week, everyone's mom stayed home, everyone liked dogs over cats...everyone was like me.

But I wanted to be different. I wanted to be unique. So, remember, I thought everyone liked red, so I would tell people my favorite color was actually the color I least preferred. I would say black or orange or lime green or sky blue or brown. It varied. I expected people to tell me how interesting my color choice was. Turns out no one cared. No one cared!

It baffled me that these people who I believed loved red would be the same people who wouldn't be 'shocked' that I liked sky blue. Why weren't they concerned? Why didn't they ask questions?

So, eventually I decided to embrace what I liked and was ok that everyone's favorite color was red too. Turns out, once I decided to actually be ME and not someone else I started to fit into myself. I was more aware of me. I didn't have to be different to be special. What I had to do was be me.

(Yes, in time I did finally realize that red wasn't the human population's favorite color. Big revelation, huh?)

This simple concept is the underlying tone of my life. Conversations now have more passion behind them, friendships have more meaning and life has a greater purpose. Instead of saying I like muddy brown and waiting for a look of disgust, I can proudly tell people I love red and passionately tell them all the reasons why.... and mean it, honestly mean it!

Side note: Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

There are no mistake

I don't think I am unique with this perspective, but I usually get looks of confusion when I tell people I don't make mistakes. I am who I am because of the things I encountered and the events I have endured. Maybe it comes across too confidently, maybe it comes across arrogantly.

I have no regrets and I don't make mistakes. I mean that and I believe that.

Everything I have done and everything that has happened to me has made me who I am today. Of course I get upset at things that seem difficult, but it is how I handle the situation that helps me mold myself to the woman I am today. My next course of action towards managing this life blunder (big or small) is my test. How I handle it is a representation of my strength.

Every unpleasant event I have faced was an opportunity to grow, an opportunity to learn from. All the awkward steps have been necessary for me to get here.

It really comes down to perspective. I actively have chosen to live my life never feeling sorry for myself. I chose to grow from the crap life throws at me. Life is full of obstacles. I may not like it when it happens but I have made a choice to grow and learn from them.

Maybe too deep for this blog entry, but this is also why I am not a participant of the Reconciliation Sacrament in the Catholic faith.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday/Valentine's Day Post

It seems fitting to write about my husband today, as it is Valentine's Day and it is also the start of Lent, so here goes:

I met Andy at the young age of 18, as a freshman at Ball State. Neither of us were looking for a relationship, but it found us. It wasn't but a few weeks of us dating that I realized this guy was meant for me and I was meant for him. So, it began. 

We were so different from each other, yet we challenged each other to explore unknown territories and to see the world through each other's eyes. And you know what, we still do. 

The world can be a shitty place, but having someone to go through it with you can make a difference. Life isn't easy, parenting isn't easy and people can be down right nasty. But Andy and I, well, we've been plowing through it together, and we've been making it. 

I love my life and I love what we've made of it and I love that we've done it our way. Without Andy to do it with me, who knows where I'd be.

So, Happy Valentine's Day, Andy! I love you.  Oh... and now the politically correctly holiday is referred to Friendship Day, or some crap like that. So, Happy Best Friendship Day, to you as well.

Thanks for the Valentine's flowers, Andy. However, the card says "from The Boys," so I'll assume you included yourself in "The Boys."
I love getting flowers sent to my office. They are beautiful and appreciated. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Giuseppe update

I am now the exhausted mother of a teenager. I'm still in denial.

Giuseppe is currently the MOST active of all my boys. He has football practice each day after school plus hockey 2-4 times a week.

7th grade at the Middle School. Giuseppe continues his straight A streak which includes advanced math courses.

First year playing for his school. He plays various positions including QB, Running Back, Left Tackle, Middle Linebacker etc.

Giuseppe returned from Cooperstown over the summer as a Home Run Derby Finalist. His team made it to the Sweet 16.

This year Giuseppe is playing for Little Caesars Black out of Farmington Hills.

Giuseppe is the official junior coach for Rocco & Vincenzo's 10U boy's soccer team.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Vincenzo update

Oh Vincenzo!!! What an amazing young man you are becoming. Vincenzo doesn't like to let on how much he cares and how big his heart is, but we know.... we know.

Vincenzo still loves his electronics. Nothing new. He's been a 'gamer' since he started playing wii at around age of 3. He also has a growing passion for baseball. He's strong and a leftie.

3rd grade with Mr. Perry.

Vincenzo's second year on the Ann Arbor A's team.  U9 A's Green travel baseball. He has weekly fall practice.

Vincenzo's second year playing on the Saline Rec team in the 10U boy's soccer team.

Special note: Vincenzo cut his hair yesterday. He was letting it grown out for the past year. It's hard to recognize him without his golden wave.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rocco update

I can't believe it, my youngest son is finding his way... on his own!!!

He currently is the MOST busy of all my boys. School, hockey, football, soccer and baseball. Rocco is a 7-year-old very social goof who always makes a funny smile for the camera. He hardly ever causes any trouble outside of the house but knows how to play rough with his older brothers.

1st grade with Mrs. Marl.

Yesterday at his first football game of the season he scored 2 touchdowns.

Rocco made the the U8 travel baseball. We had the kick-off team pool party yesterday at our house.

Still with Chelsea Mites, after a spring season at Compuware.

Rocco is playing up with Vincenzo in the 10U boy's soccer team.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Giuseppe scoring in hockey

It's embarrassing to admit, but I have never gotten a clip of Giuseppe score. Never. Not as a mini-mite and not as a Bantam. Don't be fooled, I didn't get this footage either. Thankfully another hockey mom was filming and graciously cut her video to show this short clip of Giuseppe (red #6 Defense) score.