Monday, September 17, 2007


Where to begin? I feel like I have been on a sinking ship for at least the last 6 or 7 weeks. Just when things start to right themselves a little, we hit another big wave, take on more water and sink just a little lower.

My grandfather has been back in the hospital again since last Friday. At this point I have lost count of how many hospital stays he has had since late July. The extra work of caring for him, his house, his dog, the hospital visits, the home health care, the social workers, and now even animal control is wearing on us all. Particularly Jack, who is still not sleeping, who is into everything and who will not behave while I am trying to answer a million phone calls.
We had a very balanced life before all of this. Time to cook, time to play, time to craft, time to do just about everything.

Now there is always a mile long list of "must do's," seemingly none of which can wait another minute. Time to myself is quickly becoming a distant memory, and the lack of any free time to be creative, to do anything other than take care of everyone, is really starting to show as I get crabbier with every passing minute.
This is pretty obvious around "here" too, where things are quiet for nearly a week at a time, where I have no time to scan Jack's new portraits, no time to record the passing milestones, no time to look forward to his upcoming birthday and so much more.

This is the first year that Jack is really aware of his upcoming birthday, he knows how old he will be, he knows what month his birthday is in now, he knows he will be getting presents, and yet, this is the first year that I have not put a moment's thought into the party. By now I should be knee deep in making the invitations, crafting the decorations, ordering the supplies, planning his presents, and scouting out party food.
Oh well. Hopefully things will slow down soon, and if not, I will survive. Everything is temporary, right?

Photos are from the top: thrifted enamel pitcher (been looking for one of those forever), hanging aluminum tree (perfect solution to the "I want an aluminum tree but the cats will eat it" problem), HUGE piece of Haeger pottery (not sure if I love it or hate it, but the price was right), gorgeous glass bead ornament (hard to come by and in excellent condition).


  1. I'm sorry things feel so frazzled, Sarah. I hope they settle down soon. I love that piece of pottery...I think it will grow on you.

  2. Poor thing - that feeling is so hard to shake. Hopefully the changing weather will bring at least a small lift to your spirits? I love enamelware, too, so I'm VERY impressed with your find. :)

  3. Oh, sarah. I am so sorry to hear how rough things are for you. I wish I haad a long list of advice to help you...but maybe this one thing will add a bit of joy, rest, and peace back to your home.

    Create an "I'm on the phone." basket. Change it up every once in a while, but I like to have colored paper, scissors, an old magazine, and paste. let Jack sit nearby while you are on the phone. He can happily cut the colred paper into confetti. Some kids can cut paper for hours, but if he bores quickly, pull out the glue and let him glue them onto a peice of paper. If if is rather skilled, you can have him glue confetti pieces onto coloring pages (I get all mine free online).

    I really do hope things calm down for you. I don;t like the sound of you feeling like you are in a sinking ship.

    Also, is the animal control situation because of your grandfather's dog. Does the dog need to be re-homed, or temporarily re-homed? I may have some advice on that, if you would like it.

  4. It's hard enough to find balance in life with our "own" stuff...I can only imagine how hard it must be to fit everything in that you're doing for your grandfather.

    You're right,though, everything is temporary. Your balanced days are waiting for you just ahead.

  5. So sorry everything is so harried at the moment. Things will indeed get better. And either way, I'm sure Jack will have a wonderful burfday -- especially now that he knows what a burfday is!

  6. hi Sarah,
    These times in our lives are very frustrating when we feel that we are not where we want to be or should be. Im so sorry to hear about more hospital time. When I feel this way, I Try to remeber that change is inevitable; and right when we are comfortable again, here it comes again, so the challenge for me is to find small,short little moments of peace & thankfulness, It seems to really help me get through those moments.

  7. Anonymous2:33 PM

    thinking of you sarah...hope things look up soon.

  8. Yes, temporary--even if temporary means a couple of years! Hang in there.

  9. Anonymous3:31 PM

    Would a little "thrifted stuff surprise box" help? If yes, email me your address and I will dispatch a vintage pick-me-up. We've all been there or will be.

  10. I'm sorry things are crappy right now Sarah. And yes, this too shall pass. I say this now as I am up to my eyeballs in boxes, feeling sick, and dealing with everything else. It sucks. And for what it is worth, there are plenty more Jack milestones coming up, for sure.

    All our love,
    A and Kiki

  11. I'm so sorry that things are not going so great right now... I really hope things get better for you soon!

    Becka sounds full of good advice... I like her on the phone basket idea! Thinking of you! :)

  12. You do such a beautiful job of documenting Jack's life. And, unfortunately, this stress is a part of it right now. By documenting even this hard time, you are really giving him and you a complete picture to look back on. When I was a teen, my father went through a terrible time at work. He was super crabby. Nearly 20 years later, I reread my diary. With the wisdom of an adult, I was finally able to put the pieces together and realize that it wasn't me that made him crabby! This blog, is truly a gift to the future you and Jack.

    Hopefully you will be able to carve out some time to create for Jacks b-day. I totally get how much that would make you feel better.

  13. Oh Sarah, I know how you are feeling and I'm so sorry that it's bringing you down so. I know that when you get to the other side of all this, you'll be glad that you did so much for your grandpa and you'll be at peace knowing you gave it your very best. Jack's birthday will come and be a day to celebrate, whether you have the most elaborate invitations and decorations or not. Give yourself permission go buy invites & order a cake instead of stressing to make everything yourself. And I love Becka's idea for a phone basket!

    Take care of yourself. I'll be thinking about you!

  14. I don't know what to say other than . . . hang in there! Your doing your best. And everyone (including Jack) knows that.

  15. Cut yourself a little slack, Sarah. Kids need a lot less to make a special day than we think. I used to make these really elaborately decorated cakes and theme parties. And then one year I just couldn't. We had some boys over for hot dogs and a "Decorate Your Own Cupcake Bar" That was it, playing in the backyard, and cupcakes. They loved it. I kept worrying that he wouldn't feel like his birthday wasn't special enough, but it never crossed his mind.

    Hang in there, and know that you are in my thoughts.

  16. We were having a period like this last year - nothing was going right and just when you thought it was almost over, it got worse. I'm so sorry that it's happening to you - but I think you are right, everything is temporary. I hope things are looking up for you and your family soon!

  17. Yes, life will get better. There will always be times like these. Hopefully not *just* like these, but times where you don't know if you are coming or going, especially as Jack gets older and is into more activities. Homework, sports, Scouts, friends, birthday parties, etc. But those start to come on gradually and you get used to them. You'll learn to cope in your own way. Most of us don't have to care for a relative until we're older and our kids are out of the house. That's a tremendous responsibility on you. You will be blessed.

    Did I type those letters wrong again? If this shows up twice, just delete one of them.

  18. Sarah, I am sorry things are so rough right now... If Jack is anything like my guys, he is going to be absolutely thrilled on his birthday, no matter what! Thankfully, it doesn't take too much to impress little ones.

  19. Hang in there Sarah! We send our love and know how you feel. Make a little time each day for yourself...a bath, a cup of tea or perhaps a blessings journal to record the good thing...especially during these hard times!

  20. Anonymous7:06 PM

    oh, hugs, sarah. i'm so sorry things are feeling so tough right now. things will certainly cycle back to "normal" again, and with the perspective that time offers, i hope that you will be able to look back on this time positively someday, too. blessings, grace

  21. Anonymous2:30 AM

    Yes, this stressful time will eventually lead into a quieter one. I'm sending positive thoughts your way.

  22. Oh hon - sorry to hear that this is a stressful time. You should carve out a short while to watch "Finding Nemo" (either with or without Young Jack...) I know it sounds stupid, but there's something so sweet about the "just keep swimming" message....

    Oh - and the large piece of pottery? You should love it - it's fab.

    Just keep swimming...


  23. Hang in there. It must be rough to have to be the one to take care of your grandfather. I know my sister has been taking care of her husband's grandmother and it is taking its toll on her and her family.

  24. (((Sarah))) Sorry to hear you're on a rocky road right now.

    You've gotten some gret advice in these comments. I love Becka's idea of the Busy Basket. My DS loves to cut construction paper into little piece and glue them to a big piece of paper to make a "mural".

    Jack's burfday will be a special day for him to celebrate with the people who love him. Kid's don't need as much stuff as we think they do. If you feel you have to do something homemade, pick just one thing. This year, my one thing was the goody bags and they were super simple.

    And I love LLA's advice. That girl cracks me up!! Just keep swimming... :D

  25. Sarah- I wish for you, time to slow down and enjoy the moments. It's hard when you start to get so overwhelmed. Hopefully with the cooler weather will come a slower pace. Good luck!

  26. I'm so sorry that you are having such a rough time lately. Try to take care of yourself and hopefully things will calm down soon.

    By the way, I love your enamelware find.

  27. I hope things get better for you and your family.

    I am also encouraged by the fact that "everything is temporary" else could we manage in life?

    By the way, about the post office mishap: I've always been surprised that they don't even make me sign anything when I get my packages. No ID. Nothing. So, I was kinda expecting it to happen...which makes me feel rather stupid for not preventing it. :( Oh well...they were just things...maybe someone really needed a cute cardigan. :)

  28. I'm so sorry about your grandfather. I remember dealing with this with my father when my son was about Jacks age. You're right, it's pretty much impossible to make the necessary phone calls with a little man running about. Besides being emotionally exhausted from all that comes with having a sick family member.
    This to shall pass. Hang in there.

    And I think I may have found the fabric I wanted. Had I known at the time I was going to become obesessed with it, I would have asked who is was. I need to pay attention. :)

  29. My heart goes out to you dear.

  30. So sorry. Sometimes life is just too much, but you will survive. Everything will work out. You might be exhausted, but just remember the days are still filled with love. Pat yourself on the back for all that you do. Your son will learn about caring for others from your example. The tree ornament is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Anonymous2:44 AM

    Just doing some catching up and wanted to send you a cup of coffee and a good visit over at my house while the boys run around like little monkeys around us. So sorry things have hit a rough patch.

    Thinking of you this early morning,



Hi there. What say you?