Thursday, June 6, 2013

Memorial Weekend @ Heartbar

This year for Memorial Day Weekend we did our traditional camping trip at the trailer park, or Heartbar Campground, same thing.

We left for Riverside early Thursday afternoon and got there just in time to make it to a couple stores to get stuff for the weekend. Friday morning I woke up and made 6 jars of salsa, two different varieties, my pico de gallo, and my Tia Tina's salsa.

Friday afternoon we headed towards the mountains where we camped until Monday. This weekend was a good weekend to gauge how fast my mom was declining since we all went camping last year, two months after her diagnoses, so we had started paying more attention to her odd behavior. Some think she did alright this weekend, however, with me not being around her as much I see the changes more with each trip out there.

Thursday night when I got to Riverside my mom was laying in bed, talking about how "severe" she felt today, and she kept forcing herself to vomit. When I say forcing I mean it. She has it in her head that she is going to throw up so she makes a noise like a 110 year old with hiccups and then throws up what little bit she has left in her stomach. Thursday night she had thrown up in her water bottle right after taking her medicine. Keep in mind the hole in the water bottle isn't very big. Reminds me of Wayne's World. "If you're gonna spew, spew in this". My sister and Natalie saw and Natalie took my mom's water bottle to throw it away. My mom became angry about it. She wanted to drink the water she threw up into because she had to have her medicine and it was in the throw up.

Well when Friday came she didn't want to go up the mountain. My dad had to force her to take her medicine and get in the truck. When we got there we got a spot that wasn't the best to get a trailer into. It was actually just completely ridiculous. They had all these post making it really difficult to fit. We actually had to unhitch the trailer, reposition, and then try again. It took us about 45 minutes to get the trailer parked. In the meantime Mom was sick of being in the truck so she got out and sat on one of the post. We needed her to move so she wouldn't get hit by the trailer but she wouldn't listen to anyone. She sat there clinging to her bag of medication and refused to move. This is when I really noticed how bad she was getting. People talk about those with dementia being like angry combative toddlers, well this is when that side of my mom came out. I told her she needed to go sit on the bench so my dad could park. She sat there with a blank stare, looking down at her feet and didn't acknowledge me. So I tried to help her up. "Stop grabbing me like that, you're hurting me". Of course, everything is exaggerated with dementia. So I tried to talk to her again and again I just got a blank stare. So I tried to take her bag of meds while explaining that she needed to move. This set her off. She started getting combative, mad, and pulling away. Then when I tried to talk to her again just a blank stare at the ground. This kept up for a few minutes until we finally got her to move.

After that incident my mom went into the trailer where she spent most of her weekend. She occasionally poked her head out the door to see what is going on with life outside the trailer. She would ask where my aunt is (my aunt is a nurse) so she could talk about all her pains and meds but she wouldn't go out to talk to her, 50 feet away. She finally got out a couple times to walk for a couple minutes and then went back inside. I was actually surprised when they busted out the bikes and got my mom to ride them. I was thinking what a horrible idea it is, and still think it is, to put her on a bike. Last year camping is when Mom started to lose her coordination and tripped over herself in the campground. I thought for sure she would take a fall and then we would hear her exaggerated screams of pain all weekend but she actually managed to stay up on the bike. That was pretty much all we saw of her outside of the trailer all weekend. Other than that I don't know what she did. Sleep, stare at the floor, who knows.

So other than that we had a decent time camping. I had to work Saturday morning. I was suppose to have the weekend off but my boss forgot and everything got messed up. Some people don't have a life outside of work so they plan server patching weekends on holiday weekends. I wasn't too happy about that. I had to drive into Big Bear early Saturday morning and work from my car in the Mc Donalds parking lot for 3 hours (free wifi). After work I headed back to camp and we took the kids down to the meadow to fly their kites. Once we got them up Adri was actually doing pretty good flying hers. Then Stephanie and Ethan pulled the biggest scam on us. They had tangled their two kites and gave up trying to untangle them. So they came over to us, asked us to hold it, then walked off with ours. Then she tried to play it off like she was somehow trying to help us because flying those two were  somehow easier. Uh huh, not buying that one. Eventually three of them became tangled and it was all over after that.

Afterwords I took Adri on a short hike because she wanted to find a red snake, a blue snake, and a green snake. We never found a snake. Adri fell asleep on me while I carried her back up the hill to camp. When I got to the tent she woke up and didn't want to sleep. She almost ruined my nap until Natalie took her out and let me get a sleep. Later that day I taught Adri how to pee on a log. I don't think Natalie was too impressed since there are toilets there but it's a skill the kid needs to learn. On these long drives between AZ and CA there is nothing for miles and if she needs to pee she might have to settle with a log or rock one of these days. Adri liked her new toilet. The rest of the weekend she would tell me when she needs to pee and run over to a log and wait for me.

Sunday was probably the best day we had out there. I woke up and made my amazing breakfast burritos. We sat around being lazy for half of the day and then I talked Melvin and Matthew into paintballing. I had been waiting to do this all weekend. The first round we played with a flag and I won without any shots fired. Those two boneheads forgot to try to get the flag and were shooting it out at the bottom of the hill. So after that we played free for all and the next two rounds didn't work out so good for me. I still have the welts! My mask doesn't have the best ventilation and I was trying to sneak up behind Melvin who was in a shootout with Matthew. My mask fogged up, I tripped on a steep hill and banged my leg up, and shortly after I was taking fire from both sides.

After this we were sitting there on the hill talking and some nasty old lady came over and told us that it's illegal to shoot paintballs there and she is calling fish and wildlife rangers. We laughed it off and went back to camp to reload. Just as we were going back to camp six wildlife rangers in cammo came riding up on their motorcycles. They passed right by us without saying a word. Fifteen minutes later the campground host came by and talked to us. After finding out that the lady lied and told him and the rangers we had rifles he laughed it off as well. We weren't in campground limits when we were shooting and he said he takes his own kid down there to paintball as well. He said she used to be a host there, it was under different contract now, and she likes to patrol the place acting like she is in charge, pissing people off. She wants her job back and they want nothing to do with it. On top of all this she reported to the rangers that one of us was a big Mexican. Well shortly after the campground host left she walked by our camp and Melvin had some words with her about how he isn't Mexican and she's a racist. It was pretty funny.

After reloading we went back down the hill to the meadow this time with Maurina replacing Melvin and played two more rounds. The next two rounds went very well for me. I was able to put my cammo to use and ambushed Matthew shooting him twice before he knew what hit him. He wasn't too happy about where he accidental got hit. I think he'll be investing in a cup in the near future.

Overall I think it was a pretty decent weekend. However in the future I will be investing in a tent heater. Mornings got as low as 31 degrees. Way to cold for me.
My salsa

Taking Adri to the Meadow  

Adri flying her kite


Adri just wanted to be held and wouldn't finally smile until I made fart noises.

Mom checking out the outside world.
Dad growing his beard.
Mom trying out her bike.

Ryder giving Adri a push.
Safety third.

I think that is the log Adri had just peed on.