Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ice cream social

(source)

The other night my mom asked if the Mr and I wanted to get some ice cream with my grandma and grandpa.  I said yes and we re-arranged our calories so it wouldn't throw a wrench into things.  They have three flavors of light ice cream there so we said we would get a scoop of one of those.

While the Mr, my mom and grandpa went up to order, I stayed at the table with grandma.  She was having a good day.  She asked me what I've been up to lately and you have to know that for a dementia patient to ask that, is something that is exceedingly rare.  There are days she can barely string together a sentence that makes sense to us.  We know she knows what she means but there is a disconnect from what she thinks she's saying to what comes out of her mouth.  Ninety percent of the time, she won't really speak unless spoken to so for her to ask me what I'd been up to is like the best thing ever.  You cling to it.  You know it could be the last time she ever has the capacity to have that thought to interact in a way that most of us take for granted.  I told her what I've been doing and thought I'd give it a shot and ask the same of her.  This is where it gets tricky because sometimes she says "I don't know" or will just smile because she doesn't know what to say.  But she said "oh, about the same.  You know."  It was so wonderful to hear that little snippet of the old her even if I knew that she wasn't redoing furniture like me, it was just the fact that it was more than a blank stare, look of confusion or "I don't know."

She showed me her Mary Jane shoes and she called them 'shoo-ees' and I think she was trying to say "shoe-bees" which is what she always called them all my life.  I call them that too about 60% of the time, I'll tell the Mr to 'get his shoe-bees on' and start laughing at how natural yet funny it sounds.  It's somehow comforting that a phrase that started when I was a kid comes so natural to me.  When I'm 80 and the Mr is 82, before our nightly walk, I will tell him to get his shoe-bees on.

When they came back, she dove into her scoop of ice cream.  I think the meds she's on gives her quite an appetite for sweets because she knows no restraint around ice cream and it's the cutest thing ever.  My grandpa was a little more than halfway done with his when she finished and she kind of started looking around like "where'd my ice cream go?"  Grandpa handed her his cup and asked if she wanted some and she dug into that bad boy and I laughed, looked at him and said "well, you're done!"  She did something similar at my cousin's birthday dinner when they brought out his free sundae.  He took a bite then passed it around for everyone to take a bite to pass it back and when it got to her, she started scarfing it down and we all busted out laughing and I said "yeah, you're not getting that back!"  It is seriously so cute.

By the time we were winding down, she was getting cold and bundled up in her jacket.  She pulled the collar of her jacket closed and shivered a bit and I said it was probably time to get her home.  She hugged us goodbye and it was thankfully a normal one, not one where she appears timid or almost scared because she doesn't know us.

I cherish those good days.  I am glad that we moved things around so that we could enjoy the ice cream social with them instead of being so stringent that we missed that bonding moment with her.  It's fine to pass up treats sometimes but other times you need to remember that moments like those are fleeting and plan ahead so you can stay true to your goals as well as enjoy the people in your life while they're here.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

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28 comments:

  1. It was good to see some of Grandma's personality still in there and to see her smile when she saw us arrive. She may not know our names in that moment but the fact that you can tell that she recognizes us as people she does know is a gift and I'm glad we got to see that. You take whatever you can get in this situation. It was also nice to be able to enjoy a scoop of ice cream without breaking the calorie budget - this is how a healthy lifestyle should be. You can still indulge as long as you just budget for it a bit.

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    1. Yes it was and you certainly take any good moment you can get with her. I know there have been times we've been so strict that we just forego a get together or don't get anything and sit there like weirdos staring around the room. I know we had no desire for ice cream but it wasn't about that. We made it fit and in the end, we'll remember that visit and what a good day it was enough for all of us.

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  2. Shoe-bees! I love that! I can see myself stealing that because it just makes you giggle. :-) Shoe-bee shoo-bee shooooes.

    Ice cream is my favorite food. MUCH to the dismay of my waistline. Trick is, just don't keep it in the house. Can you believe I don't care for chocolate ice cream?? Crazy right?! I can do a lighter base ice cream with ribbons of chocolate in it, but if chocolate is the ice cream base---nope. Can't do it.

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    1. Steal away!

      Hey, we all like different things. I hate vanilla but it's still the top flavor every time they do a survey. I'm not a big ice cream person but if I make the homemade stuff, watch out. I stick to making it when others are coming over so they can have a good majority of it and maybe even send some home with them.

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    2. Man I really want an ice cream maker! I hear there are some affordable yet effective ones! What kind do you have?

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    3. This is the model I have:

      http://astore.amazon.com/sucalothewei-20/detail/B0009A0N4E

      Super cheap, easy to use. I just get rock salt off of Amazon because it can be hard to find at the store at prices that don't rip you off and a 10 lb bag of ice just before I'm ready to start. You can also sub a can of evaporated skim milk for heavy cream. It'll take longer to whip the air in there and it needs longer to harden and it'll melt quicker but it saves a significant amount of calories so worth the few annoyances. I highly recommend Jeni's ice cream cookbook

      http://astore.amazon.com/sucalothewei-20/detail/1579654363

      I use the dark chocolate, Buckeye state and sweet potato with marshmallows the most. We've tasted Buckeye state from the pint and we actually like mine better because I use Trader Joe's natural peanut butter and dark chocolate. I love that you can control the ingredients so you know exactly what is going into it. I will also cut the salt by 1/8th for every recipe.

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    4. Thank you! Can't believe it's so inexpensive.

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    5. I know, right!? I didn't even buy those myself, my friend got them for me for my birthday a few years ago. But there's something about those items you're on the fence about and it's nice to know if you don't use them that you're not out the money. But it's been a great machine, the recipes in that book are easily customized to your tastes and if you are having a get together, what's better than some homemade ice cream to share? :-)

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  3. New York Superfudge Chunk is one of my favorites, but I also like a simple vanilla with chocolate sauce. I have portion issues with ice cream and I've found low calorie ice cream treats that I love. Although I could eat an entire box, one is enough to satisfy my urge for ice cream but not break the bank on calories.
    My great uncle has dementia also and while he can't remember what he ate for dinner he is usually able to tell you what was for dessert!

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    1. Hmm, I've never heard of that before, will have to Google it.

      It seems dementia patients love their sweets! If that is the one of the joys they derive from life now, let 'em. ;-)

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  4. Glad you enjoyed your evening with your Grandma--she sounds delightful. I may start calling my shoes, "shoo-bees." Sometimes it's better to go out and have a bowl of ice cream than to buy a half-gallon and eventually eat way more than a bowlful! You got your ice cream fix and now it's not sitting in your freezer, tempting you anymore. I grab the samples they hand out at the grocery store, especially when they're handing out donut holes. Right now I'm trying to drop a few pounds, but when I was happily maintaining my loss, I'd have a sample donut hole at the grocery store, and it seemed to satisfy my need for donuts!

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    1. Oh, my favorite ice cream? Either Cinnamon or Chocolate-Cherry (with chunks of both in vanilla ice cream)! YUM!

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    2. Shoe-bees for everyone!

      Thankfully ice cream is never something we buy to keep in the house. Ice cream isn't my 'thing' and especially doesn't sound good during the week but I wasn't going to sit there staring at the walls while everyone else ate. So we just looked up the info, cut back on dinner by that amount and the Mr actually had to have a bigger snack when we got home because he was really low on calories yesterday. The Mr is a sample freak. I never take them because all I can think of are gross things like how many people have coughed into their hands then grabbed a sample or how many kids have fingered them (I've seen this several times) and we all know kids will stick their fingers in and up everything. BLECK! LOL

      Cinnamon ice cream is so yummy!

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  5. Moose Tracks!!
    My biggest thing is listening to my body..unfortunately, last night my friends invited us for ice cream and I just was not in the mood. Weird, I know. I tell my clients to follow their cues--but it can be hard w social pressure! Since I am not trying to lose weight anymore, I ended up having ice cream w them--but it was not very enjoyable. Next time I think I will just politely refuse.
    Glad you had fun w your grandma!

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    1. Yeah we're not ice cream people as far as temptation but it had nothing to do with the ice cream, it was to spend time with her. If it had been anyone else, the answer would've easily been no. Most people know not to even bother asking us during the week but I think grandpa needed to get out of the house.

      Nothing worse than calories you don't even enjoy. :-\ Ask them to come on a walk next time and say "well I had ice cream with you so now we get to spend time together getting a little exercise." HA!

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  6. I'm so glad you had that time with your grandma! That's truly a gift.

    Favorite flavor is Mocha Almond Fudge from Baskin Robbins, followed by peach fro-yo from Brahms (it's an ice cream chain in North Texas.) Like your grandma, I can sometimes dive headfirst into either of those flavors so I only go get them on rare occasions as a special treat!

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    1. It certainly is!

      Her favorite is butter pecan and she's up for a good vanilla sundae as well. I love Baskin Robbins. It's the ice cream of my childhood. Their chocolate is one of the best...simple but decadent without having an "artisan" snooty air. I used to always get a scoop of that and a scoop of mint chocolate chip.

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  7. I'm so glad you had a good visit with your grandma. It sounds like a great night!!

    My favorite flavor of ice cream?? Pretty much all of them. It would probably be easier for me to list the ones I don't like.... Mint Chip and there's a birthday cake one I tried that had a ribbon of blue frosting running through it (Bleah!!).

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    1. Thanks!

      LOL, I know, there's so many yummy flavors out there! I don't like coffee flavored ice cream since I don't like coffee (love the smell though!). So I'll trade you mint chip for coffee ice cream. ;-)

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  8. My heart just exploded from happiness for you!!! Heart...BOOM! <3

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    1. Aww, thanks! :-) We cling to the little things these days!

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  9. I'm glad you had a good visit with you grandma, that's one of the truly important things in life.

    Ice cream isn't really a favorite of mine. I like it more now that I used to though. Before I got pregnant I almost never ate ice cream. The last trimester of my pregnancy I craved ice cream like a monster and it never totally went away, I like the chocolate peanut butter one from BR, I like moose tracks and rocky road from the store.

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    1. Definitely!

      How crazy! Oh yeah, you can't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter anything. I think I've yet to try Moose Tracks but I need to get on it. Everyone raves about it.

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  10. Speaking of ice cream, can you get Scotsburn in the US? My favourite flavour is peanut butter fudge crunch. Peanut butter ice cream, with graham cracker bits and fudge throughout. OMG, GET IN MY BELLY!

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    1. Oh man, it doesn't sound familiar but that sounds awesome!! If I can't find it, I could try to replicate it. Owning an ice cream maker can be dangerous! I made cookie butter ice cream and I had 3 seething ice cream monsters following me around wanting more!

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  11. Aww such a sweet post and happy to hear that you time to bond with your grandma!!
    Ami || NaiveCookCooks

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  12. I absolutely LOVE that you got to spend time with Grandma and such a good day! These are the ones you'll cherish the most because they encompass everything you remember about her and you can see brief snippets of her true self in those moments of clarity. Alzheimer's can take away your memory but it cannot take away your experiences, and you got to witness that over a scoop of ice cream. This is one to cherish and to bring to the forefront of your mind when she has one of her rougher days. I am so happy that you got to share this together. xoxoxo

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