Sunday, July 3, 2011

June in review

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Auntie Em looking stunning at the beach!

Matt hitting the waves!

My niece Erica who is so 1940s chic

Free Fall, Baby!!

He's too cool for this.

The girls talked Matt into trying something new!

Auntie Em, Chrissa, Erica and Matt: My boy gave them the tour of the beach and boardwalk.
I don't know exactly where to start or what subject to write about. June proved to be one of those months that people write books and then go on to make movies about. Except I don't have some old family farmhouse with infinite guest rooms in a picturesque setting. I live in a what's technically considered a condo, but people call a townhouse or duplex, which we stuffed five extra people in like sardines.

I did my best to make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed, despite my not being exactly set up for hosting guests. Normally, my guests seem to BYOF (or bring their own furniture) because they are staying for more than a week. This time, it was sleeping bags, pillows and air mattresses (thanks to Mom and Dad A.) and blankets in a pick your place to slumber manner.

My boy met my oldest sister, his aunt whom I'll refer to as Auntie Em, for the first time since he's was a baby. With his asperger's, family is important to him (which seems in opposition with the popular understanding of autism, but really isn't). With Auntie Em and him, the relationship just flowed naturally for the both of him. She understood him because she understood herself, perhaps. After all, both of their brains are different.

Auntie Em has terminal brain cancer. It affects her in many ways some which are similar to Matt and the other similar to my hubby's. The kid asked if Auntie Em was dying to which I answered truthfully. She's out lived her prognosis by an amazing amount of time, which I hope she continues to do.

Because having the family here wasn't enough fun, for Father's Day, we bought the kid's Dad dwarf hamsters- a male and female named Herman and Skittles. They are nice little tings, social and the kid does really well with them. Socks thinks that we bought them for her sometimes meowing for furry, small kitty treats.

In the middle of all the family fun, the hubby had a set-back. Apparently, he pushed himself too much physically, so now he may have a slow cerebral spinal fluid leak or slow bleed in the brain. We had a fun trip to the local ER. They never know what to do with him. Basically, they gave him some magic pill to reduce his increased pain and we zipped up to the neurosurgeon two days later, who ordered MRIs and MRAs. Unfortunately, the hubby couldn't stand the closed in tube so now he need sedation or something else. It's unresolved at the moment.

Until then, its vigilant care for him from Nurse Carrie. There's so much to this that it's scary at times. It was hard to find balance between family visiting and husband recovery. Of course everyone understood. My mom was thrilled despite me being so divided in attention. She had her daughters in one space many times, got alone time with each of them and many, many memories were made that were super special for moms.

So, let's put the family reunion in pictures:

My parents wedding photo with my sisters in their pretty dresses. 

My mom brought copies of old pictures to share with the family. I made copies and everyone got a set from (love that site for photo printing!!) Then of course, the hamster cage and one hamster. Herman is more social than his mate, Skittles. She's a bitchy little thing.
Hamster cage Chrissa had to help us put together.

Herman (hamsters are hard to photograph!) Skittles is albino.

All and all it was a great reunion. I hadn't seen my sister or her daughters in years. I hope we get to visit again (I have a feeling we will see a niece or two in the near future since they get free lodging). Matt really got along with his cousins, especially since their dad brought them up as gamer girls.

I'm waiting for life to get settled again. I don't have much time to do anything. Matt is still terribly unsettled with his dad being in recovery and having this set back. The family visiting threw us all off our schedules, though he did remarkably well considering. It's hard for him to switch gears, going from lots of attention to just the mom and moments with recovering dad. That's the hardest for Matt, I think. Not having John well enough. They used to spend so much time together, now it so... different.

That's only a tiny bit of what happened... a synopsis. Our July calendar is IN-freaking-SANE between doctor's appointments, family functions, swimming lessons for the kid and the regular day to day stuff. Plus, I just hurt my foot-- the bad one I sprained entirely as a teenager. Who wants to go to the ER on The Fourth of July weekend? Travel time around here has tripled. A ten minute drive is now takes thirty. No thanks, I'll live. I don't want a cast because I need those beach days.

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