Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nannies, Races, and Mom, OH MY!

It's time I give you all a little update on life in general.  To start off, I love my kitchen every time I look in it.  Other projects are slow just due to lack of time, but I'm definitely being far more productive.  Yay!  I'm also eating at home A LOT more.  In fact, Hans and I haven't eaten a dinner out once this week.  Mom and I ate out for two lunches, but that was simply because we love the place and not because there wasn't anything else in the house or cooking seemed too overwhelming.  Things are perfect on that front, but they're better.

Mom continues to do well.  Health-wise she's doing great.  However she's still struggling a little on the emotional front.  I think we both are.  It's hard staying happy over a scan result that took place a month ago when you have no idea what's happening currently.  And then there are some doctors who will tell her that the cancer is guaranteed to come back, and while these results are great they're not the end game.  That's extremely frustrating.  And then there's chemo brain. 

Chemo brain is what makes things the worst for me.  On a good day it simply leaves Mom a little scatter-brained but charming.  On a bad day it leaves her extremely argumentative and combative.  Something as simple as me saying, "I'll drop the dogs off at the vet for their procedures on my way in to the kennel" will have her arguing about why she has to come along.  I remind myself on a daily basis that she's not intentionally insulting me and telling me I'm not competent enough to do a simple task, but rather she's probably just trying to exert some control over her life...the same control I'm trying to exert over my own. 

Oh, and on the control front, she's still not driving.  After discussing things with the neurosurgeon we all decided that it might be best if she continues to wait until the end of the year to get behind the wheel again.  There are plenty of days when I think she would probably be OK, but when I see her at the end of the day- tired, worn out, a little incoherent, I know we've made the right decision.  We'll just let her heal a little more.  In the mean time, life requires a little more planning to make sure she gets to every place she needs to go.

And now for a race update.  Hans and I are running the Richmond Half Marathon this Saturday.  And yes, I did say Hans.  I'm so proud of him.  He's been training since August and will be running his first 13.1!  And let me say, I'm fairly certain he's more prepared mentally than I am.  My heart just isn't in this long run like it has been in other long runs.  I know I can do.  I just don't really want to.  I think this is mainly because I'm already so tired from other things in life, and I'd rather sleep an additional 2.5 hours.  That said, I'm always extremely happy when I do finish, and I can always use the endorphin rush.

So, who's watch Anna while we both run?  My dad and his girlfriend.  I bet, based on the title of this post, you were expecting me to say the nanny.  Nope!  No nanny.  If you'll remember, I posted a little while ago that I had decided to hire some extra help.  Well, Hans and I put out a listing, screened applicants, interviewed a few people, did a background check, and hired a nanny / PA.  The first day was SO great.  She helped with Anna, took my car to have its oil changed, and picked a few things up from the store for me.  In the mean time, I was able to devote my full attention to the kennel for a few hours.  And then, at the end of her first day, she told me she had been offered a full-time position elsewhere and so she was giving her 2 weeks notice.  Ummm, what!?  Did I do something wrong?  Is Anna difficult?  No.  She just needed more income.

So, I took two weeks of her working with us and really thought about whether I wanted a nanny at all.  Some tasks, like going to a store or shopping in general are far easier with a second person (someone to push a stroller while I push a cart), but now that Mom's doing better she could do that.  And did I really want someone on a set schedule?  What if I needed someone in the afternoon?  Or what if I really needed someone on the weekend?  So, after much discussion, I decided to not have a nanny at all.  I'd rather save that money.

 I did, however, want someone I could contact with very little notice (less than a week) and whom I could trust.  So, after looking around some more, I decided that using a sitting service would be the best option.   I have to pay a small yearly fee, and  the hourly rate is obviously more than what I'd pay a teenager, but the care is better and I feel a little more comfortable having someone who's had more experience when it comes to Anna at her current age.  Plus, when you factor the fee into the hourly rate, it's still about the same as what I'd pay a nanny per hour, but I don't have to use them all the time.  It's a win-win!  Hans and I have already used the service once, and I was quite pleased.  I'm sure we'll use them again.  Of course, I'm always looking out for people who want to take care of Anna or who just want a baby-sitting gig.  If you know of anyone, send them my way!

Well, that's life for now.  Things are buys and exciting, but we're all doing well!

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