Memorial Day

It’s been a few days since my last post. It’s been busy around the house. Kathy came over on Saturday and took Alicia out. She said they had a great time. Alicia will miss Kathy for the next 2 weeks since she’ll be on vacation. We’ll try to go horseback riding on the next 2 Wednesdays instead.

Alicia has been talking a little more, telling us what she wants and what she doesn’t want. She has also been doing more things on her own. She go up the other morning and did her nails (only got a little nail polish on things that shouldn’t, including her face). I cleaned her up a little, not wanting it to get into her eyes.

She has been coloring and drawing more. She has also been picking out books more from the bookcases. And she has been doing puzzles more. But I have noticed something. She is becoming more dissatisfied more staying at one task. Her concentration on a task is limited. She then wants to jump to do something else and then something else. Otherwise she gets extremely frustrated and cries. She becomes more anxious, anxiety level increases.

I’ve been trying to follow her and keep an eye on her so that I can see this and help her move on to another task. Some things she likes to do by herself. Other things she likes others to work with her.

We visited my Mom yesterday. Alicia was laughing continuously which meant she was uneasy being there. I guess it has been a while since we visited Mom at her house. New things appear to make Alicia anxious.

Well, today I plan to mow the lawn and take a trip to Home Depot as well as going to the grocery store. Mom gave us all the leftovers from yesterday, so we have dinner.

I started looking at how to scan / import / manage my photography library. It seems that I can do it all from within Picasa2. However it will take a considerable amount of time to do this. Scanning takes the most time. But then you have to do the cleanup of the images which doesn’t take a lot of time. Then you need to do the “export as a web page” for the photos you want in each album. And then you had to ftp to WordPress to help manage. It’s a heck of a task, but I’m starting. I really want to get whatever photos we have of Kelly ready for her wedding in August. Once I get all the photos in Picasa, I can make slide show CDs. That should be neat!

Smooth sailing?

With Maria being able to get around a little better, I am hoping to be able to relax a little more. Well, not relax, but just not under so much pressure to do everything.

Maria’s arm is really sore. But she will be stretching it until it hurts (per her doctor) to get the full range of movement back. She took her first bath today in a long time. She felt good after it.

One of the observations of the Family First team was that Alicia’s laughing seemed to be related to anxiety. They noticed the increase in laughter on Tuesday when the conversation was about Alicia. I think Nina and Kathy also mentioned this. It’s like Alicia’s only two modes of communication are laughing and crying/screaming. Nothing verbal.

The screaming/crying seems to be coming down a notch or two. By talking to her calmly, she also calms down. If Alicia senses anxiety in your voice, then she escalates. We must all try to remember to speak calmly to her.

Alicia has also said to Tracey more frequently that she is sad (when she is crying and/or screaming). But no matter how Tracey asks, Alicia can’t go beyond the “I’m sad.”

I sent a letter to the editor of our local Springfield Press. I felt that I should recognize the girls around the corner who said hi to Alicia during one of our walks. Alicia didn’t respond and I wanted to try to explain briefly what has happened to Alicia. I want them to understand why. And I wanted to thank them for their kindness. When I spoke to the editor to authorize the letter, she asked me if I was sure because it seemed to be a sensitive area. I said that was okay.

It seems like we’re trying to hide what has happened with Alicia, but we’re not. Well, that’s not what I want to say. It appears that we are isolated in this matter especially from our family. This is perhaps why over the years we haven’t been as close as we should have. Or maybe not.

If this is the reality then friends, neighbors and family should know about it and understand. This could be a good way to help us all. And bring us all to a better understanding and closeness. I certainly have a better understanding of what my brother and hos wife are going through with her mother. Sharing this knowledge is a way of helping us heal ourselves and each other.