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Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Homeschool Mom in AZ last won the day on April 16 2014

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About Homeschool Mom in AZ

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    I began homeschooling in 2000 when my oldest was 4. I have 3 daughters.
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    quilting and writing

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  1. The most common thing I hear and have experienced with elder care is that after the elders die, the caregivers say they didn't recognize the decline as it was beginning. With later perspective, people see that the decline started earlier than they recognized at the time, but they wrote it off as annoying personality traits in the elder or as general old people behavior. This tends to happen with people with more emotional baggage in their elder relationships. You're stuck on should, (which is idealistic) and I'm suggesting you move to is (which is realistic.) Abandon idealism and its righteous indignation embrace cold, hard realism with it's resignation and fatalism. Yes, they should've done things differently than they have, assuming they're cognitively normal (odds are they are not cognitively normal at this time) but the fact is that they haven't and won't. You say you're realistic about them and sister isn't, but I would say you're not as realistic as you think you are or need to be at this stage of your parents' lives. You don't talk about their behavior like someone who has very realistic expectations of declining elderly people. What they say isn't reliable and should never be taken at face value because they're famously avoidant. That will likely increase as they age because a person's personality is typically amplified in old age. Therefore, you should never expect their behavior to match their words. (This is true of avoidant people in general-you can't ever really trust what they say.) Some elderly people have personality changes for the worse due to mental decline, not just amplification of their younger selves. You and your siblings should expect and emotionally prepare yourselves for their behavior to be all over the map. Elders in decline are wildcards. Changes can happen quickly. When you change your thinking about a situation, you feelings will follow. Let me repeat that: When you change your thinking (expectations, assumptions, desired behavior of others) your feelings will follow. When you understand that cognitive and physical decline in old age has this affect on people, you no longer take their behavior personally, you no longer have high or even moderate expectations of them, and you no longer expect them to behave today and in the future as they behaved yesterday or earlier. Things change rapidly for some elderly people. It's to be expected. Accepting it brings peace. You don't have peace now, but you could by changing your thinking. Again, what an elderly person was willing to do outside the home in the past is not an accurate indicator of what they're willing to do now and in the future. That drops off. Sometimes steadily, sometimes suddenly. Everyone involved with the elderly should expect all forms of outings, even ones near and dear to their own hearts, to drop off and then come to a full stop. Elderly people's processing slows down and breaks down, and that creates confusion and overwhelm which can result in different reactions in different individuals: for my FIL it results in embarrassment and angry shouting scenes, for my grandmother is was anxiety and fear, for my grandfather it was depression and quiet sadness, for my husband's grandmother it was depression and despondency/detachment, for my husband's grandfather it was chronic irritability and overreactions. It's no wonder that people in that situation would be less inclined to go to big events full of overwhelming stimulation. No, they don't want other people to make arrangements to get them there, they want to avoid those situations because they can't function normally in them and they all know it on some level. They're also far less physically energetic. Travel and large social events are so much more draining for them than for middle aged people. Compassion and accommodation for their increasing limitations is necessary. People dealing with elderly need to be constantly aware of these things, not angry with them over things they can't control. They wish they weren't like this too. The thing is, it's all too late now. I'm sorry for your loss of that. It was time to address the family dynamics issues with them when they were physically younger in middle age, when their brains and bodies were functioning normally. You're experiencing a common phenomenon of adult children caring for elderly relatives: the straw breaking the camel's back. All the cognitive and physical decline are creating issues that are bringing all these underlying family dynamics issues up. Because they weren't addressed before the decline and time is running out before they die, there's an urgency that can't be ignored anymore. But it's too late. You aren't going to get satisfaction in any way in regards to that relationship. It's going to remain unresolved. I'm sorry for your loss of that. It's going to get much harder. They're never going to be or do what you think they should and accepting it is hard. They were avoidant before the decline and they're going to be even more avoidant now. Reliving your frustrations with them in detail here isn't productive for you or them now. Focusing on processing your feelings about the past shouldn't be your priority-that's usually best for after they're deceased because it cannot be resolved while they're alive, it can only be accepted for the unchangeable mess it is. Right now you and your siblings need to focus your precious, finite emotional and mental energy on the marathon of elder care. Get very familiar with a range of eldercare challenges and how caregivers deal with them. Learn to adapt to what could be rapid changes. Find support with experienced care givers who can help you in practical ways along the way. Get your siblings to do the same because they'll need to help. Create mental and emotional margin in your life because you will need it if they don't die suddenly soon. Don't underestimate how critically important it is in this situation to clarify what's most important and drop what isn't, especially emotionally. Elder care is an incredible demand and no one has unlimited emotional resources. Spend you mental and emotional energy on what is going to get you through this trial, then when it's over, you'll have mental and emotional space to deal with anything you had to put aside. It can all get processed and dealt with, but not all at once.
  2. OK, since you don't want pussy-footing around and prefer something straightforward: 1. Elderly people get suddenly ill whether they have a history of being straightforward and direct or sneaky and manipulative. So anytime a person in the last chapter of life makes an unusual complaint, it should be responded to seriously. This is the time of life to watch carefully foe indications of decline. 2. Elderly people have declining mental, physical, and emotional energy levels. Sometimes suddenly, sometimes gradually. When an elderly person doesn't want to overcome obstacles to get to a big event with complex family dynamics, they should be respected and supported, not criticized. Problem solving isn't something elderly people do well. It's very common. What kind of resources are you and your siblings accessing to make yourselves familiar with these kinds of elder care issues? They get more challenging as things progress and I think everyone involved needs to have much more realistic expectations. 3. When someone who has a history of being indirect and non-confrontational drops that many hints that they might not attend something, it should be interpreted that they're not going to attend the event. Everyone who knows them knows that's what's going on, right? It's their convoluted way of telling you no. Whoever they drop hints to is obligated to discreetly pass it on to anyone who needs to know to keep the event going as smoothly as possible because indirect people aren't likely to directly tell everyone who needs to know. That's not who they are or how they operate. 4. If someone has a history of conflict about/with/related to another family member and they choose not to go to a family event to avoid that conflict, it should be respected. It's better to not attend than run the risk of causing drama at the event. 5. It doesn't matter what other people, like the groom's Granny, were doing. Individuals decide for themselves if they're going to attend a wedding or not for whatever reasons. People are allowed to not want to go to a relative's wedding. So much of wedding madness is rooted in an unhealthy compulsion to keep up with what other people are doing. 6. It's just a wedding. This is not a medieval political marriage involving the merging of 2 kingdoms entities for Geo-political purposes, where if the king doesn't attend his daughter's ceremony the other king is insulted, pulls out of the treaty, and the fate of nations is war. Granny and Gramps chose not to attend for whatever legitimate or illegitimate reasons they don't have to explain. That really sucks. The bride can have a few minutes of disappointment and then get on with her joyous day. Same with the rest of the relatives. 7. It's over. Don't spend any more emotional energy on it because it isn't going to change. Expect them to be increasingly difficult in these and other ways as they age and continue to deteriorate. Don't take anything personally even if it was meant personally. Don't go back into the past with all the history of how they've made if hard for their relatives. People who get over things are not people who spend a lot of time thinking about the negative stuff from the past.
  3. Having personal experience with my grandparents not going to my brother's wedding and not saying so until the day of because of my Grandmother's sudden explosive diarrhea she had never had before the wedding day, I can completely understand that it might very well be a legitimate, sudden issue everyone else wouldn't know about and those that did would likely not go into detail about it. If an elderly person can't back out of a social event at the last minute with "I'm not feeling well" then we must be in a parallel universe where up is down, light is dark, and right is wrong.
  4. 1 part regular Dawn dish washing detergent (which cuts grease) + 2 parts newly opened hydrogen peroxide (a color safe bleaching agent). Pour into spray bottle and shake well. Spray onto stains until saturated and rub enough powdered Oxyclean into the soaked stains to make a thick paste. Roll pants up around the soaked stains to keep it from drying out. Add to it every day for 3-7 days by repeating the above steps and then wash in the washer. Rinse as many times as is necessary to get the mixture out. I got spaghetti sauce stains completely out of a white sweater this way.
  5. Why not just look up power washer services online, price compare, read reviews, and hire one now?
  6. I'm 46. I had chicken pox when I was 6. I haven't had shingles, but I plan to get the vaccine when I'm at the recommended age.
  7. This gift is for her-what she would like. She doesn't seem to like stuff, so I would simply give her money. It may not suit your preferences, but it would suit hers. She can put it away for the future. Adulthood is expensive. She'll eventually need transportation, adult education, and items for her own residence at some point. There could be future opportunities do things that even more expensive like traveling the world while single and childless. She may want to start a business and need large amounts of money on hand to do something like that. You never know. Her tastes are likely to change between 17 and when she's living on her own, so I would not buy anyone hope chest items. I personally know a handful of people who have discussed with me their regret about their teen choices for hope chest items, and I'm sure there are plenty who feel the same way who haven't had it come up in conversation. I don't think a new pet for a 17 year old is a good idea. Young adult life can be full of changes, surprising opportunities, and irregular schedules. She could be doing anything within the next several years, and many of those possibilities aren't going to be pet compatible and she's at the stage now where she should consider what to do with the pets if her lifestyle isn't pet compatible in the relatively near future. I say that as person whose father got a baby tortoise that grows to more than 100 pounds with a 100+ year lifespan when he was a retiree and a mother and step-dad who got a puppy when they were retirees who don't have patience for anything and decreased mobility. It just wasn't the right timing.
  8. Now that I think about it, it's not legal to post images of foster kids online for legal reasons. Outside of that example, I have a very hard time seeing how anyone at a crowded venue can keep themselves or their kids out of pics. Notice, this is not a philosophical question, this is a practical one. With scores of people crowded all around it would be challenging to isolate only my kids or loved ones in a pic. It's just like at any crowded public venue such as Disneyland, the State Fair, or the soccer game at the park full of people in the background, you take a pic/vid of your own kid, you're going to get other people in the shot no matter where you stand. No one would expect you to get permission from everyone in the background before you post it online. Weddings would fall into this category. I think you just have to get over the idea that you can be anonymous in public venues at all times anymore. You can't. I often warn my kids that no matter what they do, anyone nearby with a phone is able to record and post what they're doing, so don't do anything they wouldn't want going viral. Whether or not you like or agree with it, I don't see how you can expect you or your children to never be in a picture you have no control over. Now, if someone is trying to make money off of that image, I understand requiring signed release forms and such being required for advertising forums, but regular every day crowded special events are just going to come with cameras in hand.
  9. I get and support no photos during the ceremony because it's distracting to others trying to enjoy the ceremony. I routinely turn my phone off at movie theaters, church services, music performances amateur and professional, so I think it's well within social norms in the US. (If not, let me know where it isn't, I'm curious about that.) Outside of the actual ceremony it seems to me to be overbearing to dictate what guests do with their phones. Also, if you have a no kids wedding, you need to allow parents to check in with sitters, and remember that people with fragile elders need to be in constant communication with elders and elder caretakers. They can put it on vibrate for the ceremony, but they need to be able to hear it before or after the ceremony when things are more hustling and bustling. I don't see any reason to keep photos off of social media before relatives post them in real time. It's a wedding celebration, not a top secret government project whose acknowledgement needs to be carefully timed.
  10. Maybe you could discourage the formality by claiming to want to wear this dress with a built in cape....because those never go out of style:
  11. Here are images from googling "color palette red yellow".
  12. Remember that everyone is different. Some nursing mothers would be thrilled to know there was a nursing room and others like me wouldn't be interested in one. She may not have ever had anyone respond the way you did before. She may have had someone respond the way you did, but doesn't approve of that response. She may be the kind of personality type that may genuinely struggle with wrapping her brain around the idea that someone would respond to that offer differently than she would in their situation. It could be any of those or other reasons for her response.
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