Family Life

June – My favourite month of the year because it’s my birthday in June ๐Ÿค—

It is always nice to celebrate a birthday but each year I get to celebrate mine alongside my Son’s birthday and Fathers Day, all within a few days of each other.

It’s a week of cards, presents and family time, which is always nice and my dad gets to spend time with all of us as we celebrate each other’s special day.

This year was even more special for my son, as it was his first birthday as a daddy, he also celebrates the anniversary of his engagement (3yrs ago) in June to his beautiful fiancรฉ too. .

Family time is precious ๐Ÿ’™โค๏ธ

 

Time to look at the positive side of life as I now know it:

I can honestly say I have always tried to look at the positive side of life, the negatives will always come and go, but as long as you deal with each issue, you will always come out of the other side, with a lesson learned.

I have had to adjust to a lot of changes over the past 2 years as you know, my blog was inspired by my change of direction from the NHS Career I loved, to the role of ‘Carer’ for my dad. . .and my blog has been dedicated that journey.

However, I feel now is the time to lighten things up, start blogging about the best things in life, and how they make me feel.

It’s taken me a long time to deal with my change of direction, and there have been times that I have felt it has all been too much to take, being tired, run off my feet, trying to fit so much in for others, not taking the time for ‘me’ (which I really did try to do, but so many other things got in the way)

So, what has given me this new outlook on life?

I have. . .

I have finally decided that I am ‘not’ going back to work, I have always had this niggling worry in the back of my mind that I would have to go back to work soon, as you know, redudancy money doesn’t last forever however, I have certainly done a lot with mine, which have included some very much needed home renovations (and I’m still doing this) of course, Ive also had live off this (with no salary coming in) for the past 13 months, paying all the usual bills, mortgage, gas, electricity, rates etc. .

I have the chance to take my NHS pension early, a choice I always knew was there, but I hadn’t really giveen it much thought, until now!

I have decided this is the best option for me at this moment time, with the responsibilities I have with my dads health issues. .The other option, which I have considered if I did return to work, would be to put my dads day to day care in the hands of a professional carer however, I am not prepared to do this at present, but it is something I may have to consider in the future if dads needs become more complex.

Life is short and we have to cherish the times we have with our loved ones, but we also have to decide what is best for us and make the decision that is right for us! I feel I have made the right decision for me and my dad at this moment in time and I am looking forward to enjoying life ‘out of the rat race’ for a while longer!

I have lots of plans for my free time including some new projects in the pipeline which I will be blogging about. Although I have had most of my time taken up with my dads care, hospital, GP and clinic appointments, I have been able to fit in some home renovations, working with some really good tradesmen, and seeing some long awaited home projects being completed. (My dads advice has been helpful too)

I have a few more projects on the go, which I am taking on myself and I am really looking forward to getting my teeth into those, I also a few hobbies that I have recently taken up, mostly in design which I’m enjoying

I would like to share these on my blog in due course, so watch this space. . .

Thank you for reading my post, I look forward to hearing any feedback if you have the time to kindly comment.

Chris x

 

Time Passes So Quickly

Well, what can I say, it’s been three months since I last posted on my blog, where have those three months gone?

December – The month of December, like most families, was dominated by planning for Christmas, along with my dad’s birthday (which was on the 23rd December) I arranged a lovely family meal in one of our local hotel restaurants to celebrate dad’s birthday. In attendance was my daughter, granddaughters, son and his fiancรฉ, my dad, myself and my partner. We arranged for a cake to be brought to the table, which dad was delighted with (and blew all the candles out in one go). The meal was lovely and we all had a really good night. As a family we don’t get chance to all be together at the same time, and for me, it was lovely to have my children and granddaughters together to make dad’s birthday a special occasion (he was 84)

January – Dad has been doing well considering all of what he is has been going through over the last two years (as you will know if you have been following my blog). I was getting worried about his weight, which at times has reduced due to him not eating properly on some days (usually when he has been left to his own devices) I do try and bring my dad to my home as often as I can so he can enjoy meals with the family, this gives me chance to make sure he eats well, and spends time in company rather than eat alone.

Dad has had a few blood tests in the last few weeks, his GP was concerned that he may be suffering from a decrease of his kidney functions and he is keen to look into this further. I do hope this can be rectified as I would hate to think it’s something else dad needs to be worried about. Dad is still being cared for long-term by myself, I have not gone back to work yet, still enjoying the time away from work after taking my redudancy, almost a year ago now. I guess I am lucky to have been able to take this break, considering all of the different aspects of dads care that I have taken responsibility for.

Dad is still attending all of his follow up appointments at the different clinics for his various conditions – Parkinson’s, COPD, Memory Loss, Speech & Language Therapy, and now Dietetics (which helps with his diet, and advice on what to eat to sustain his weight, which has dropped at some times) all of the services delivered through the NHS have been very supportive over the last two years since my dads heart attack in April 2015.

February – Looking on the brighter side of life, I have some wonderful news – I have a new addition to my family, and that is an adorable new grandson. My Son & his partner are just over the moon with their new born Son, and he has certainly brought some sunshine into our lives, and this has really brought the smiles out in my dad.

Little George Sebastian was born on the 8th of February 2017 weighing in at 7lb 9oz and he is just so cute. They have named him George, after both their granddads, which is a lovely honour to them both (especially my dad George) I feel so lucky to have two beautiful granddaughters who are aged 10 & 7

 

The lovely addition of a grandson. .

Our family is growing, and life goes on. . We always have something good to look forward to. . . ๐Ÿ’™โค๏ธ My family mean the world to me โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’™

 

Its important to have some timeout:

Today I decided to have some much needed timeout with my partner, and I couldn’t think of a better place to spend the day than in my home city of Liverpool.

However, as always my first priority was my dad, therefore I made sure he was ok, I had already prepared some lunch for him, made sure he had his Sunday paper, had taken his medication, and didn’t need anything. I would have loved to take my dad into Liverpool (which I have on many occasions) but dad has been feeling a little under the weather lately, and has not been up to walking too far. But it was nice to head off for a few hours with his blessing, as he said “go on and enjoy your day I’ll be fine”. . .

I am lucky to have a partner who supports me and my dad. I am also lucky that he shares my love of Liverpool (even though he is originally from Manchester) Liverpool is vibrant city of culture, Heritage and People – See for yourself by visiting the link below:

http://www.visitliverpool.com/

It was a lovely autumn day, plenty of a sunshine with a gentle breeze coming from across the Mersey. As always the city was buzzing with people of every nationality taking in the culture, architecture, great shopping, restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

Our first stop was my favourite shopping centre – Liverpool One, I couldn’t think of a better start for me than some retail therapy and I guess I’m lucky that my partner enjoys shopping too. This always leads very nicely on to a coffee and cake break.

The link below will give you further information if you are thinking of visiting:

http://www.liverpool-one.com/shopping.aspx

From Liverpool One we took the short walk across to the historic water front, enjoying the sun, sea air and lovely views across the river Mersey before taking some time to visit another favourite place of ours, The Albert Dock.

The Albert Dock is another vibrant area of Liverpool, steeped in history. It houses the Tate Museum, Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, The Beatles Story, shops, restaurants and bars.

This is also a great place to see many of the visiting cruise ships as they dock for a day or two on their way to various places across the world.

Liverpool is the home of Cunard and it’s great to see the fleet coming back to Liverpool. The people of Liverpool always come out in their masses to greet and wave off these ships, all accompanied with the usual fireworks display.

Further information on the Albert Dock can be found on the following link: http://www.albertdock.com

Further along the river brought us to the Pier Head which is the focal point of Liverpools waterfront and the world famous iconic ‘Three Graces’. These historic buildings stand proud in all their glory and heritage, housing the famous ‘Liver Birds’ on its rooftop. Legend has it that one looks over and protect the people of Liverpool, whilst the other keeps an eye out for those coming into port.

For more information on the ‘Liver Birds’ visit the following link: http://www.royalliverbuildingvenue.co.uk/liver-bird/

After all the fresh air and exercise, we had worked up an appetite so it was time for dinner and a refreshing glass of something.

2 for 1 cocktails on the menu today. . Don’t mind if I do

I think we needed our day together, recharging our batteries, feeling the sun on our faces, feeling the sea breeze, taking time to talk to each other and enjoy each other’s company.

I feel ready to face a new week and the new challenges it may bring!

 

Dads favourite time of the day:

Coffee & Cake Time!

Today was a good day. . A little road trip to Southport with my dad.

My dad was feeling up to a trip out today, he even made the suggestion knowing I was making plans to drive to Southport to look at some tiles I had seen for my new bathroom design. I always look for inspiration and ideas from my dad whenever I am planning any home improvements, as he is the person I get all of my skills from with regard to planning changes for my home. I have watched him since I was a little girl, always keeping him company whenever he was painting, decorating, gardening etc. . .

So who best to take with me on my trip shopping for tiles!

The best thing was, we were very close to the lovely seaside and the main town, so what better way to spend the afternoon (after my purchasing) than to head to the seafront, take in the view of the beach, the sea (could just see it) and in the far distance – The neighbouring town of Blackpool and the famous Blackpool Tower. .

Then it was off to find the nearest coffee shop to enjoy some lunch and indulge in one of my dads favourite pastime:Coffee & Cake Time

Dad was on good form today, plenty of laughs and cheeky moments.

Making memories ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ’•

Always daddies girl, and I will be at his side for as long as he needs me.

We are looking after each other, just like my lovely mum asked, just before she quietly passed away x

Goodnight Godbless Mum, forever in my heart ๐Ÿ’ž

 

Fun In The Sun – Dad & Daughter Time

To get up in the morning, open the blinds, and be greeting by the sunshine flooding into the room, doesn’t it make a difference to your mood? We don’t get enough sunshine in the UK so we have to make the most of these beautiful sunny days of early summer.

I have had the pleasure to see such a change in my dad over the last few weeks due to the lovely sunny summer days we have been enjoying. Dad has been spending time in his garden relaxing in the sun, he looks so much better with a lovely bronzed glow on his face, and a determined interest in preparing his garden for his bedding plants. It’s been lovely to see him showing an interest in his garden again, and I’ve loved spending time with him on a number of trips out to the local garden centres, helping him select plants for his garden.

My dad has always been the ‘Monty Don’ of the family, if you wanted to know anything about plants, flowers, planting, pruning etc. . My dad has always been the one to watch, and ask advice about anything to do with the garden, it’s always been his main hobby that he took so much pleasure in. Dad’s garden was his pride and joy and over the years I have witnessed his expertise in so many different gardening projects.

Unfortunately since my dad has been poorly, his interest in his garden had lapsed over the last year and it has taken a back seat while he has fought to recover from his heart attack and diagnosis of Parkinson disease. For the first time last summer he took a supervisory role, and allowed me to do some work in his garden, planting, mowing the lawn, preparing his pots and baskets, and I must admit it was upsetting for me to see this, but I was happy to help him create some colour in the garden for him to enjoy.

This year it’s been a pleasure to see dad making plans for his garden once again, taking stock, preparing the ground for his bedding plants, pots and baskets, and wanting to go and buy his plants. We have had so much fun on our trips out, we have taken time out to enjoy lunch, especially coffee and cake time, and generally enjoying some special dad and daughter time together.

 

Yesterday, we stood in the sunshine and admired our work in his garden, having had some help from his friend, dad had prepared most of the ground so I just had to marks out the areas for the plants, and dad followed my lead, popping them into the borders, finishing off with a quick rake and watering of the ground. I added a number of solar lights, that I had bought him for Father’s Day, and the garden was soon looking its best.

Today, dad reported back to me that the solar lights looked lovely, he had remembered to look out at them once it got dark, and he was so pleased with the changing colours of these lovely little lights, it was a pleasure to see him happy with this welcome addition.

So the sun has made a difference, it has brought a lovely summer glow to my dads face, making him look healthier after spending some time relaxing in the sun, it has provoked a plan of action with the garden project, and in turn has resulted in a happy and contented dad and daughter ๐Ÿ’•โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒท

 

The Journey:

It has been over a year since I wrote my first post on this, my first blog! My intention was to record the journey I had been on with my dad since his heart attack, and diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. I have followed the process of recovery from hospital admission, discharge, rehabilitation, recovery and on-going therapy. At times I have also reported on some happy days out with dad, and places we have visited during his recovery.

It has been a journey for me, with times of sadness, worry, uncertainty, but most of all it has been a time of reflection, change, prioritising and adapting to a situation I chose to take charge of.

However, now I feel I can start to report on happy times, focus on the best of a difficult situation, look forward to happier times with my dad and take time to enjoy some family times, making memories for as long as I have my dad in my life.

Therefore, today’s post will recall some lovely events from our recent holiday in North Wales, after persuading my dad to join me on a little holiday. . . .

Making The Most Of Family Time:

Last week I took my dad away to North Wales for a few days, with my partner and my granddaughters (dad’s great granddaughters) We were lucky to have some lovely weather, beautiful sunshine and plenty of fresh sea air.

Dad lived in Wales for 12 years with my Mum after moving from Liverpool when they retired, they wanted to enjoy a more relaxing life, which they had experienced in their luxury caravan on the Haven site in Towyn for a few years. During that time they often talked about buying a new home in the area, they loved the fresh air, the beach, the sea, and could see themselves retiring in the area.

One day while out walking, they noticed a sign for a new development of beautiful bungalows, so they popped in to enquire, and it wasn’t long before they were planning the move to Wales.

Mum & Dad certainly had many happy times in Wales, they met some lovely people and became part of a very supportive community. They spent many happy days visiting some stunning places across the North Wales coast.

It was a little trip down memory lane for both of us, as I have so many happy memories of the time I spent with my mum and dad and my own children. I felt lucky to be able to relive those memories with my dad and my granddaughters, taking them to places I had visited so many times.

One of my favourite places was Conwy with its stunning harbour and beautiful views across the estuary. http://conwy.com

We had so much fun with the girls as they tried the local pastime of ‘crab fishing’ while dad enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine ๐Ÿ˜Ž

I think dad was tempted to set sail somwhere! Of course being an ex-merchant seaman he would have loved nothing better than taking a sail out to sea. Unfortunately the day trips had finished for the day, so he had to stay on dry land. . .

It was lovely having the time to take my dad away, he enjoyed it so much, and family time is the best therapy for my dad, especially after the last year and the recovery process he has been through. I know how important it is to keep him involved and active as much as possible.

There were times when I knew he was tired, so I made sure he was able to rest, he would usually sit in the sun reading his newspaper with plenty of refreshments and snacks, while my partner and I kept the girls occupied. They loved having their great granddad around, they were so patient with him, making sure he was aware of obstacles, kerbs etc, watching his step as they walked with him.

They wondered if their great granddad could get up onto the giant deckchair with them ๐Ÿค” I don’t think so girls. . .

One lovely sunny evening we decided to dine out, taking a drive to a place Dad used to go for meals with my Mum, in a little place called St George in Abergele. Away from the hustle & bustle of the usual tourist area, off the beaten track sits this 17th Century Coaching Inn called The Kinmel Arms. It was well worth a visit, amazing food, great service, stunning surroundings.

http://thekinmelarms.co.uk/?start=5

 

I can happily say, I had a lovely time, the girls had fun, my partner enjoyed it , but most of all my dad loved it, plenty of happy memories made and hopefully more to come. .