Archive for the ‘parent’ Category

I miss my mother

August 27th, 2014
By



Life has its ups and downs. I used to navigate it with the help of my mother. I cannot anymore because she has Alzheimer's disease.

Today is my birthday. She doesn't know that. She doesn't know her own age or birth date anymore.

I went to visit her at the care home and decided to just tell her what I've been enduring. Short form, of course, but I wanted to share. I want to think some part of her understood.

We sat down as we usually do and, instead of making small talk because I know she can't really converse, I monologued my problems.

At the end, I looked for comprehension. Nothing.

I continued in vain, "I miss you. I miss when you were well. I miss talking to you."

Nothing.

I went on. "Sometimes I have conversations in my head with you and imagine what you would say to me. I need you."

Nothing.

"What do I do, Mom?" I asked.

Nothing.

"You don't know, huh?" I said sadly.

"No," she replied.

She has never been a great advice-giver but I have always liked knowing she was in my corner. "That's OK," I said. "Just tell me you love me."

"I love you. You know that. Of course I love you," she smiled.

And that will have to be enough.

Lesson in democracy

August 25th, 2014
By



On primary election night, I asked my husband to visit me with our daughter at the candidate's headquarters where I was assigned to report for the night: US Senator Brian Schatz (who ran against Colleen Hanabusa.)

Live interview with Senator & Mrs. Schatz after last printout of the night

Live interview with Senator & Mrs. Schatz after last printout of the night

Besides wanting the luxury of seeing them for a little while on a Saturday night, I thought it might make a nice real-life lesson for our seven-year-old to see democracy in action. If you have never been to a candidate's party on election night, it's pretty interesting. Crowds, noise, excitement.

Mic check as we prep for a live shot.

Mic check as we prep for a live shot.

As a secondary lesson, I thought she might like to see Mommy at work as a reporter. Now that I anchor the morning show she has more chances to see me in the studio, but few opportunities to see me in the field.

My election night team: Adam, me, Lance, Terry.

My election night team: Adam, me, Lance, Terry.

She could witness the magic of television! Most people I meet are curious about how the news is put together. She's lucky she has access to this.

 

Claus & Olivia

Claus & Olivia

Right idea, wrong timing. The kid came, ate my dinner while I was busy conducting a live shot, and then nagged me to play with my iPhone. In subsequent live shots, she was totally absorbed in Fruit Ninja.

I rolled into my bed around 2 a.m. the next morning so when I saw her the next day, I asked, "Was that interesting? Did you learn a little about democracy?"

"I don't even know what that is," she said.

I was pretty zapped (jet-lagged, if you will, since we morning anchors effectively live in a different time zone), so I decided to skip the politics lesson for this day.

"Did you like seeing how things get on television?" I continued.

"Um. So-so," she said nonchalantly.

"What did you like about last night?" I persisted.

"I liked seeing you," she said.

Aww. Good enough for me!

Clothing swap?

August 22nd, 2014
By



Claus isn't a cross-dresser. Really. But some recent incidents around the house sure could be taken otherwise if one didn't know.

Firstly, I commandeered one of the his dresser drawers because I had bought too many underthings and needed space. He opened up his boxer pants drawer one day and was greeted by the sight of little frilly things.

For all the funny things that happen in our house, he needs to trademark his hybrid look of confusion + amusement. "Um? Is there something I should know about myself? What kind of surgery did I have, again?"

"I'm borrowing drawer space until I figure out where to put my new lingerie. Thanks," I informed him. He usually just looks at me with a tired acceptance and moves along.

Not my shirt!

Not my shirt!

Secondly, he and I attended a celebration at surfer Carissa Moore's house after she won her second ASP Women's World Tour Champion.  At the party, they handed out t-shirts for men and baby tees for women.

I guess I wear mine more, because one day he wore his and Olivia asked me, "Why is Daddy wearing your shirt?" There is no way he could fit any clothing of mine. He's tried... Just kidding!

photo

I looked up to see what she meant and I realized it was his own manly t-shirt, so I explained to her that we both have the same shirt.

It's incidents like these that I hope she doesn't replay at school for her friends and teachers to wonder what the heck goes on at home!

Flying poshen

August 11th, 2014
By



Olivia had a playdate with Meya. They were in the kitchen asking for weird ingredients and little bowls and measuring devices.

When I say weird, I mean weird. She asked if I had dragonfly breath. I was like, "Dragon breath? You mean bad breath?"

"No, Mommy. *eye roll* DragonFLY breath," said the sassy girl. "Where can we buy some?"

Oh, right, I just saw that on special in the weekly Long's ad.

They wouldn't tell us what they were trying to make but I figured out it wasn't brownies. Anyway, as long as they weren't burning the house down I didn't care as long as they were occupied and not fighting.

Then, Claus picked up his iPad to use (we are always grateful it hasn't melted from being Netflix'ed to death for hours upon hours) and saw this:

photo 1

photo 2

Potions for how to fly and become a vampire. Poshens, I should say.

Upshot: it didn't work. I still have Earth-bound, non-blood sucking little girls running around the house.

But if it does kick in after a delayed reaction, I'll have to try some myself. If I were a vampire I wouldn't be so sleep deprived on the morning shift, plus I could fly to and from work and avoid the afternoon congestion on the roads.

 

Educator helps children understand what Alzheimer’s means for families

August 8th, 2014
By



Alzheimer’s disease is a scary situation for adults. Imagine being a child and trying to understand how the diagnosis affects the entire family.

chang cover

Why Can’t Papa Remember My Name? is a resource for children on Alzheimer’s disease. The book teaches about the disease, that others are experiencing the same situation, and that mixed emotions are common and valid, all in language appropriate for children.

“The main point of the story is the changing behaviors of one who has Alzheimer’s explained in terms a child can understand,” Dr. Chang said.

Jeve prof pix

As primary caregiver for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s, Dr. Chang lived through the disease’s impact on young family members.

“Through my family’s experience, I observed the impact of this debilitating disease on family relationships, especially that of my grandson and his papa,” Dr. Chang said. “There were many resources on Alzheimer’s written for, about, and by adults, but books on the disease from a child’s perspective were limited.”

Why Can’t Papa Remember My Name? covers the confusion brought about by Alzheimer’s from a child’s point of view so young readers can understand what is happening and what they can do to help.

For more information, visit www.drjuvennachang.com.