Thursday, July 9, 2015

When She Could No Longer Dance

Over Easter Weekend we celebrated my daughter Amelie's Christening. Afterwards we had a luncheon at my parents' home in Asheville. Traditionally at these Boylan gatherings we end up with Van Morrison on the speakers and copious amounts of singing and dancing. My father grabbed my mother to shag/jitterbug as they always do but this time was different. My mother was lost. She just clung to my father and shuffled her feet. It was at this moment he realized his dance partner from the past 40 years no longer knew the steps.

I asked my father's permission to use this photo. It is pure and raw and emotional. This is what he lives with EVERYDAY. It is what my brother and I live with everyday; albeit from afar. This is why I devote so much time to helping the Alzheimer's Association. They are our lifeline. They provide us with support groups, events, networking and message boards. The people I have met through the Alzheimer's Association (and through blogging about this topic) are the most empathetic listeners to our story. 

This will be my fourth year walking to End Alzheimer's in Charlotte. My mother has changed so much since her diagnosis in 2011. I would stay she is Still Barbara, like the movie "Still Alice", but she is not. I know that she is still here with us sometimes but the inner workings of her mind that made her so uniquely her are almost gone. 

I ask that you join me in the fight against Alzheimer's. Every slipped fact or missed detail of my life sends me into panic mode that I will develop this dreaded disease. I don't want my children to go through what I am experiencing. I want to spoil my grandchildren. And I want my husband and I to enjoy our golden years.

My personal page is here. Please consider making a donation or walking with us.

Katharine, Beau and Robin (and all that love BB)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I Thought Celiac Disease Was a Joke. I'm an Asshole.

I will begin by admitting I'm an ass. I usually eyeroll the whole "I can't eat gluten" nonsense. I am aware some people have the actual disease and can't for stomach reasons but the sheer amount of people that claimed they have this disease bewilders me. Even the New York Times wrote about it here.

 When Amelie had horrible eczema over the winter and people suggested I cut out dairy I laughed hysterically. Call me selfish and ignorant but that's just how I felt. The joke is really on me b/c my friends that have cut out gluten or dairy look WAY better in a bikini than me. I just love food and hate vegetables so I'm pretty narrow minded when it comes to restrictions in diets. Call me a toddler.

Well a few weeks ago Max developed these red bumps all over. We assumed it was Chiggers (did you know nail polish is NOT the remedy?) and covered him in Calamine lotion. 
By Saturday morning it got so bad that he had to go to the urgent care. I got a call from him while I was at the pool with the kids letting me know he had been diagnosed with either SCABIES or SHINGLES. Ummmm Scabies? What? They said he probably got it from the gym and that we had to coat all the kids in this $80 prescription lotion and wash our entire house. Scabies is just like is a tiny mite that burrows. 

Well 14 loads of laundry and one pissed off mama we were on our way to getting healthy. I made him go to the dermatologist on Monday just to make sure.


The dermatologist laughed his ass off and said that NO, it wasn't Scabies. It was an allergic reaction to something, probably detergent. They took two huge biopsies and sent Max home with the miracle drug prednisone and said to not eat gluten for a week just in case. 

Father's day dinner Max indulged and rewarded himself with a hefty dose of pasta....and three days later this......

The next biopsy showed that Max has Celiac Disease presenting as Dermatitis Herpetiformis . Here is just a snippet of what he is feeling: Intense itching. A burning sensation. Clusters of small blisters that persistently break out on the elbows, knees, buttocks, back, or scalp. These symptoms are the hallmarks of dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), a skin manifestation of celiac disease. DH affects 15 to 25 percent of people with celiac disease, and these people typically have no digestive symptoms of the disease.

Max is a foodie. His father was an Executive Chef and Max learned everything there is to know about cooking from him. He also loves Bourbon...(see Bar)

To say that this diagnosis has wrecked his world is an understatement. I know that sounds overly dramatic to anyone out there battling something more severe, and I apologize, but this is a big adjustment for us.

They now have him on a leprosy medication that makes him feel terrible and the rash still hasn't subsided so he is slowly getting back out in the sun. I have bought a few Gluten free cookbooks from friends and already placed an order for gluten free soy sauce. We are slowly learning!

If anyone has any tips they are gladly appreciated. He also turns the big 40 this Fall and our trip on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is probably out at this point. Caribbean? Palmetto Bluff? Skiing? 

Nurse K

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Baby Girl Nursery


We played musical chairs with the bedrooms upstairs and although it was a ton more work I am so happy with the end result. I honestly never thought I would have a little girl and definitely didn't think I would embrace the pink but I am in love with it all. It is by far the "prettiest" room in the house.

The double bed and curtains were in our guest room so I went with the same green walls just a shade bluer than the original green. I love having a bed in here because well..........she wakes up every night around 4am with NO intentions of going back to sleep. So....that is where she and I snuggle until 6ish. 

Everything else was Ford's including the crib, dresser and glider. I still need to fix the knobs on her dresser and find a duvet for the down comforter but we are pretty much done! The bench at the bottom of the bed I snagged from my parent's house and I could recover it in the same Manuel Canovas as the curtains or I could save the third panel just in case we move and her next room needs a roman shade. 

I think we will be in this house 3-4 more years so she will graduate to a big girl bed in here. Maybe I will replace the crib with a dollhouse. I know a certain fabulous Aunt that has a very very gorgeous one right this moment.

Remember, I am not a designer but I do love creating cozy rooms! Without further adieu...

Top print by Katie Long Stevenson. We received the print below it from our dear friends Alice and Tommy Myer. I would love a better bedside table but this one works for now.

Jenny Lind Crib off Craigslist. Pottery Barn Bumper and Skirt. Roberta Roller Rabbit crib sheet. I have since removed the bumper and added a pink breathable one.

Curtains were a gift from an upholsterer we used in West Palm Beach when I worked for Pauline Pitt Interiors. (The Ikea pillows not going the same direction is driving me CRAZY...but I'm too lazy to take new pics!)

Pears and Bears dress from my sweet friend Sarah.

Pillows from Ikea. Bunny pillowcase via ???. If anyone knows I will pay a finders fee. I have the matching baby blanket that I still sleep with. I bet it is Auraluz and I might just have to get another one made.

I wish this glider was easier on the eyes but it has been wonderful for both kids. I bought it off Craigslist from some Exec at Wachovia. We exhanged in the parking lot at work while my friend the Security Guard watched and shook her head at me. If you look at the bookshelf you will see the book ABC Charlotte. This is a great gift and written by a dear friend from Carolina, Christina Pope!

My Grandfather was a cotton broker and this cotton wreath is definitely Amelie's favorite thing to look at while getting her diaper changed. Photo via Kristen Lequire.

One of my Feltman Brother's dresses. Does anyone have a source for pretty hangers? 
Photo via Kristen Lequire.

And by far...the best thing about this space is the little girl that lights up this room.....
Photo by Kristen Lequire.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Teenager, a Toddler and an Infant Walk Into a Bar...

 Just kidding. But this is my world right now. My stepson is in town for the summer and the first thing he requested I pick up for him is some Axe body wash. 

This past weekend my parents came into town for Father's Day and while we were at the pool there was a moment that perfectly summed up my life. I needed to take my Mother to the ladies room so I asked my stepson to keep an eye on Ford and my Dad to hold Amelie. Talk about being in the Sandwich generation. 

While we were eating lunch I don't know who I had to harass to take more bites...Ford or my mother. The similarities between a toddler and someone with advanced Alzheimer's are staggering. 

On top of trying to parent and very part-time caregive I am also losing my daycare. They are closing this Friday after being open for 15 years. They just don't have the numbers they used to and can't keep operating with current enrollments. My mother-in-law is coming to help me out for the next two weeks before we head on vacation and I'm (for lack of a better term) scared shitless of how I will get work done with two young kids in the house. 

I'm not going to spare you the details of the SHINGLES-SCABIES diagnosis my husband INCORRECTLY received weekend before last that had us cleaning our house like we had bedbugs or my car troubles or how I have worked from 8-10pm 80% of the nights this month. Ain't nobody got time for that.

All this is to say that if I haven't called you back or you saw me sitting alone in a dark corner in a bar drinking or why I haven't been blogging...well I just have been a little bit overwhelmed. And I'm not glorifying busy. This is just how things are right now. I know there are many of you dealing with much tougher circumstances, and I am by no means fishing for sympathy....I just needed to get this down on paper (internet) so I can have a justifiable reason why I didn't complete Amelie's baby book.

More tomorrow,
Love K