Friday, February 27, 2009

Ellen DeGeneres called - She wants to interview ME on her talk show!!

Okay, not really but how cool would that be??!!

Karen at A Peek At Karen's World was interviewed on her blog by another blogger this past week and it was a lot of fun to read her answers (if you ever need a good laugh, read her blog...she's a riot)! Karen offered to interview others and I screamed "ME, ME" because we all know I have issues about feeling left out so here are the questions she sent me:

1. I'd imagine you sometimes get strange reactions from people for having 2 sets of twins. What has been the most memorable?

I don't know that there has been one particular strange reaction that has stood out but we do get the same comments/questions over and over and over again. Here are just a few (with my responses, depending on my mood):

**Do twins run in your family? (They do now OR Yes, and sometimes they even walk)
**Were you trying for twins again? (Yes, haven't you heard about the new sex position that pretty much guarantees you'll get pregnant with twins OR Yes, we had sex twice the night they were conceived)
** Did you need help getting pregnant? (Yeah, my husband helped for about 5 minutes - I'm assuming they must mean "medical help" but some people never quite come out and ask that so I figure why not have some fun with such an odd question, especially because I just LOVE to see the look on their face after I say that because I'm evil)
** Wow, I thought having 2 sets of twins was rare? (I guess not as rare as you thought)
** Are they ALL yours? (Last time I checked OR -with a shocked look on my face- what do you mean ALL...Oh My Gosh, where did these other two kids come from? I have no clue who they are!)
** How do you do it? (Two shots of vodka in the morning and a huge glass of wine in the evening)
** Are they twins? (Yes) Were they born at the same time? (Um, yeah, like I said, they are TWINS)
** (pointing at Garrett and Landon) Are they twins? (Yes) (then pointing at Cole and Bella) Are they twins too? (Yes) So you have two sets of twins? (Wow, you can do math!)
** Do you have a lot of help with them? (No...why, are you offering your services?)
** Are they very similar in personality to one another? (Yes, as similar as you are to your brothers and sisters. They are two separate human beings, not clones.)
** Which twin was born first? (Baby A was born first...will you be able to sleep better at night now that you know the answer to that?)
** You sure have your hands full (Yes, better to have my hands full than empty arms and a broken heart OR I'm glad you noticed....can you give me a hand with my shopping cart?)

When I just had Cole and Bella, ironically, is when I got the weirdest questions/comments, like one little old lady telling me they couldn't possibly be twins because they weren't the same size. I assured her that they were both in my belly at the same time and that twins are not always the same size. She just shook her head and walked away, as if I was missing out on a major bulletin somewhere on this very subject. Some people would ask if they were identical and I'd say, "of course not, one's a boy and one's a girl". I actually had a few people stare at me as if I had a 3rd eye in the middle of my forehead and then say, "Yeah, I know they're boy/girl twins but are they identical?" or "Yeah I can see that but how do you know they're not identical?".

2. If you had a day that was 100% for you with no husband kids or laundry to worry about, how would you spend it?

Well, I'd start the day off pinching myself because surely it would have to be a dream. When I finally realize it's not a dream, I'd run around the house naked (because I can). Then I'd take a super long hot shower and become reacquainted with what it feels like to shave my legs. I'd spend at least 60 minutes blow-drying my hair, putting on make-up, and getting dressed. Then I'd hit the grocery store and buy tons of junk food and stop by the video store and pick up a bunch of chick flicks. Then come home, put on my comfy clothes and pig out, while watching my kinda movies...with no one constantly interrupting me or grabbing at my Oreos. After I'd have my fill of movies and junk food, I'd take a ridiculously long nap. Now, this is just if I had the house to myself....but if I had to leave the house, I'd definitely hit a day spa and spend my day in total relaxation!

3. What is one of the nicest things your husband has done for you?

This may not seem like a big deal to some but if you know my husband, than you know he's not very romantic and sometimes not very thoughtful. A few years ago, we were shopping and I happened to pass by a gorgeous winter jacket that I just fell in love with. He encouraged me to try it on and when i did, I fell even more in love with it but when I saw the price tag ($200), I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money on myself. A few months later, at Christmas, when I opened my gift from him, there was my beautiful jacket!! I was completely surprised and so touched that he had remembered how much I wanted this specific jacket (he even got the right size!)

4. Oprah just called you! She's desperate for a new Book Club selection. What do you recommend?

First, I'd ask Oprah how the hell she got my number and then send that person a huge bundle of roses! I personally happen to love anything by Jodi Picoult. I've loved every single one of her books so I'd recommend anything written by her, particularly My Sister's Keeper or A Change of Heart. Both are great stories that will keep you guessing until the very end (and I can pretty much guarantee you'll find yourself in tears)!

5. (I know, I'm reusing this one, but I had to come up with a lot of questions today.)Surprise! I'm actually a genie. What are your three wishes?

Wish #1: I would wish for my family to always be happy and healthy, as well as financially secure (hopefully all that doesn't qualify as my 3 wishes!)

Wish #2: I would wish that my husband and I could find some way to reconnect again....our marriage has taken quite a beating in the last 6 years, from infertility to becoming a family of 6. It would be the greatest thing to feel those same butterflies for him now that I felt in the very beginning and to fall in love all over again.

Wish #3: I would wish for a personal cook and a maid so I could focus solely on my kids without all the worries of housework and cooking meals. Oh my Gosh, that would alleviate so much guilt right there!

Now...I would love to interview you and you and you. So here is what you do:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions - make sure I can reach you by e-mail or leave your e-mail in your comment).
3. You then update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

So come on--let's get to know each other better. And do not fear potential questions--I promise to play very nice. Good times!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

If I could ask God anything....

So the last few days around here have been more serious than usual, with Cole's surgery and such. I was sitting around with the kids today and Cole asked me, "Mommy, did you pray when I was in surgery?" and I said, "yes, of course...I asked God to watch over you and to guide the dr's hands as he performed the surgery". Then he asked, "What did else did you ask Him?" and I said, "hmmmm, I asked Him if he had any good suggestions on what I should make for dinner". Bella laughed and said, "I wish I could ask God a question". So I told her she could ask God questions anytime she wants to. Apparently, she had some burning questions for God, like "does everyone have a butt crack?" and "Are clouds made of marshmellows or are they just really big cotton balls?".

It made me think of all the things I'd ask God if I could actually sit down and have a conversation with Him....aside from the serious stuff, of course. So I compiled a list (me and my freakin lists, right?):

1) Now that technology has come so far, why can't you just send me an e-mail whenever something bad is supposed to happen in my life? Just a little heads up, know what I mean? Something like:

To: Helene
From: Big Man Upstairs
Re: Something bad happening in your life today
Bcc: Satan

"Wassup, Mama ...you might want to avoid wearing a plain white tank top with nothing underneath to the pool today with the kids...I'm just sayin!"

2) What on earth were you thinking when you decided that the weekend would only consist of TWO days? I'm thinking Mon-Fri should be the weekend and Sat and Sun should be the weekdays....see where I'm going with this? Everyone works on Sat and Sun and then Mon-Fri are the days we rest. Yeah, I know....it's brilliant, right?

3) Why don't babies come with manuals? I mean, I know an instructional DVD was out of the question but would a written manual really have been that much trouble for you? You are God, maker of miracles, right? Surely, a simple manual wouldn't have been too difficult to create, rather than making me cry, plead and beg my way through it.

4) How did you decide that women should be the ones to deal with menstruation, PMS, pregnancy and childbirth? You could've given those things to the men but because you didn't, it's pretty obvious that you felt women are the stronger gender between the two. I know you can't come right out and admit that but I'm right, aren't I? (wink, wink...nudge, nudge)

5) Arm pits? Seriously, what was the purpose? Just wondering...

6) Are these animals made up of leftover human parts that you weren't sure what to do with? Honestly, scary stuff here. This obviously proves you have one hell of a sense of humor (but then again, the fact that you sent us two sets of twins was already proof of your sense of humor). Ooops, please forgive me for saying "hell" (bad habit....but you already knew that about me).


7) Do you really forgive us for all our sins? I'm talking ALL.OUR.SINS. Do you hold a grudge? Forgive and forget? I just can't imagine you forgiving Simon Cowell for making people cry on American Idol or Chef Ramsey for telling his contestants on Hell's Kitchen to "f**k off" after a long day of trying to impress him in the kitchen...I like to think they'll meet their match in the after-life.

8) Can you please, please, please guide Martha Stewart in coming up with the world's first calorie-free, good-for-you brownie? Ice cream? Cake? Cotton candy? Okay, no? Well, I just had to ask...I know this seems so frivilous when you have bigger problems on your mind, like trying to decide if Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer should just call it quits already....(again), and what do to about Octo-Mom and her 10,000 children.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Don't mess with Mama on surgery day!

This is how we started off "surgery day".....


Most would assume, after looking at the above picture, that I had just told Cole, "Hey buddy, it's surgery day...let's go get your belly button pushed back in". Here he is sobbing uncontrollably, completely naked from the waist down....screaming, "No, Mommy, No....I don't want to....please don't make me....!" But he wasn't talking about the surgery....oh no, he was actually excited about THAT. He was freaking out because I had asked him to put on his Transformer underwear but he wanted his Lightning McQueen underwear. Funny how the thought of surgery didn't worry him in the least yet picking out the wrong underwear for him caused him to have a huge meltdown. Apparently, some thing like this is the end of the world to a 4-yr old.

Finally, after he was dressed, I began to put my shoes on and he said, "Come on, I don't want to be late for my surgery." With that, we left. We had a little over an hour drive to get to the hospital, since that's where the dr does all his surgeries. He was great on the ride up, only asking every once in awhile how much longer until we got to the hospital.

11:00 am - We arrive at the hospital and stop in the bathroom for a quick potty break. I said to Cole, "Hey, let's take a picture of your belly button so we'll remember what it looked like!!". He said, "awww, Mommy, come on....we're gonna be late". I whipped out my cell phone and said, "strike a pose, baby!"

Oh and yeah, I circled his belly button with a black marker because I was still a little anxious after the conversation I had with the nurse on the phone when she confused him with another patient.

11:15 am: We go to admitting, where Cole's information is reviewed and he is given a hospital bracelet to wear with his ID on it. He was very upset that they weren't asking for his signature since he was the one "having his belly button pushed back in" so the lady was nice enough to give him a "form" for him to sign...(blue bear was Cole's travel companion for the day)


12:00 pm: We are in the waiting room, waiting to be called back to the prep area....he shows no fear, no anxiety, no worries. Thank God!! Seeing him so care-free helped me to be less worried.

12:30 pm: We're called back to the prep area. The nurse gets him some scrubs but Cole isn't thrilled about them so she tells him he can stay in his clothes for now. She gives him a new teddy bear to cuddle with....Cole says, "but I already have a bear". She says, "Well, now you have two". He looks confused but happily accepts the bear.

I pull out the backpack full of things I brought to occupy him while we waited but the nurse asks Cole if he wants to watch some DVD's. Hmmm, watch a Spongebob DVD or practice writing his letters and numbers? Tough choice?


1:00 pm: The dr comes in to the pre-op area to say hi to us and make sure we don't have any questions. He asks Cole if he can see his belly button and he laughs when he sees that I've circled Cole's belly button. I tell him about the phone call where the nurse confused him with the next patient. He looks concerned for a minute and then says "Oh, she must have confused him with Cody. He's in for a tonsillectomy". He assures me that Cole will not come out of surgery missing his tonsils.

1:15 pm: The anesthesiologist visits with us and tells about the different medications she'll be giving Cole. I remember to ask her about the anti-nausea medicine and she says they sometimes give it and sometimes don't....I tell her "well, I'd like this to be a time where you give it, please". She smiles and says "no problem". Whew....so far, so good. Belly button circled....anti-nausea medicine approved. She goes on to talk to me about what to expect in the recovery area when Cole comes to...she says, "I'm just gonna say it like it is...he will be groggy, he may be crying, he may be very upset and agitated...but he's not in pain. His brain is just in a very disoriented state and he'll be very confused. Just hold him and cuddle with him until he settles down". I'm one of those people who's horribly scared of the unknown but surprisingly hearing this from her didn't comfort me at all. In fact, it just worried me even more as to the condition I would see Cole in after surgery.

1:30 pm: The nurse comes in and asks Cole, "Do you want to try some of this cherry juice I have?". She says it's the medicine (Versed) to help him relax. They like to give it to the patient shortly before they go in for surgery so I'm expecting it won't be long until Cole gets called back for surgery.

2:20 pm: Cole is higher than a kite....his eyes are glazed over. Garrett let him bring one of his pacis for comfort and every once in awhile it falls out of his mouth and he laughs hysterically and drools all over the place. The nurses keep coming by and joking with him, as he's watching the Spongebob DVD, "Hey, how many Spongebobs do you see?", "Is Spongebob flying in the air?", "how many fingers am I holding up?". Every few minutes, Cole reaches his arm up and says "Look, I can touch the lights".

Right after I snapped this picture, he tries to get out of bed, saying "I need to go exercise....where's my ice cream?". He's starting to become agitated and trying to get out of bed. I ask the nurse how much longer until he gets called back for surgery...it's been 45 minutes since they've given him the Versed. She says it should be just another 5 minutes.

2:25 pm: Two nurses come in and say, "Okay, we're ready....". Cole's so out of it that he doesn't even realize what's going on. He doesn't cry as I say goodbye to him and I'm thankful. I really expected that I would be a total wreck, watching him being wheeled away from me, down the long hallway to the OR. The nurse gives me a final wave once Cole's in the OR and I exit to the waiting room to endure the 40 minute wait until his surgery is over.

3:15 pm: The dr comes into the waiting room to get me to bring me to the recovery area. While we walk, he shows me pictures of Cole's insides (lovely...now I know what his vas deferens look like). He says the surgery went well, the hernia has been taken care of and he goes over further instructions for Cole's care over the next few days. I go into the recovery area and there's my baby, asleep on the gurney with an oxygen mask on. The sounds of the monitors take me back to our days in the NICU. It's amazing how something like that sticks in your mind. It's a sound you don't ever forget, especially the sounds of the alarms going off.

3:45 pm: The nurse wants to try to wake Cole up because she says he should've been awake by now. She tries to rouse him but he isn't responsive so I ask her if she can wait another 10 minutes but she continues to try to wake him up. He finally wakes up and he's extremely groggy. She keeps saying to him, "Cole, wake up....wake up". I wanna slap her. But I refrain. He starts to pull at his IV and crying. Then he's sobbing and thrashing around in the bed. Even though the anesthesiologist prepared me for this, I don't think it's anything you can really be prepared for until you actually see it with your own eyes. The nurse keeps asking Cole if he wants some juice or a popsicle. He can't even respond...he's sobbing and trying to get out of bed. She shoves a popsicle in his face and says, "here, see if you can eat this". Now he becomes even more upset and starts thrashing even more. I tell her to take the popsicle away and I'll see if he'll eat it once he calms down.

4:15 pm: Cole is finally quiet and calm. But he's complaining that his belly hurts and he keeps trying to rip the bandage of his belly button. The nurse assures me there's no way he can be feeling any pain because he's been given pain killers. Then she starts to take off the little sticky pads to the monitors off his chest and she has a hard time getting one off and abruptly rips it off, causing Cole to start sobbing all over again. He keeps complaining that his belly button hurts so I ask if she can get him some tylenol. She says, "really? Do you think he needs it? He's had pain killers". I say, "Well, he's obviously feeling uncomfortable...maybe the meds aren't working as well as they should be. Can you just look into getting him some Tylenol?". Then she says, "I think he's just saying that to get attention". Crazy nurse, say what?! This is what I envisioned next....except that's a SNAKE and it's a MAN the snake is biting but you get my point.Not to get off the subject or anything, but I just find it funny that whoever took this picture found it more important to take a picture of his buddy getting bitten in the face by a snake that he grabbed his camera and started snapping away INSTEAD of rescuing his friend. I would surely hope this guy getting bitten removed his so-called buddy from his Facebook friends list immediately after getting out of the hospital.

So I tell the nurse that I don't think Cole is saying he's in pain because he wants attention...."HE JUST HAD HIS BELLY BUTTON OPERATED ON...I THINK HE'S SAYING HE'S IN PAIN BECAUSE HE'S IN PAIN...NOW GET THE DOCTOR AND ASK HIM TO GET MY SON SOME TYLENOL NOW". Don't mess with Mama on surgery day!!!

Cole gets his tylenol and he's finally completely calm, laying in my lap and asking when we can go home. After waiting another 20 minutes to make sure he doesn't have a reaction to the Tylenol, Cole is discharged and sleeps the whole way home.

Once we arrive home, he finally gets his ice cream....


Overall, the day was a success! And Mama held it together and didn't cry once!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Someone hold me, please!

We moms are supposed to be the brave ones. We're the ones who hold our families together....we are the glue that keep our families tight. But who's gonna hold us when we're scared and anxious??!!

Cole is having surgery today to repair an umbilical hernia, a very common procedure with very little risks. But it does require general anesthesia so to me, that alone, is downright scary, especially since he's never had surgery before and there's no way we can know how he'll react to anesthesia.

The nurse called yesterday to go over all the instructions, regarding when he needs to stop eating, time we need to be at the hospital, where to go upon admitting him...yadda, yadda, yadda....then she said, "He can bring toys from home and a favorite blankie too...although at 10 years old, he probably doesn't carry a blankie anymore". I stopped her right there and said, "um, Cole's not 10 years old...he's only 4". Nothing but silence on her end. Then she said, "oh....oh....oh no....okay, I see what happened...I confused you with the boy whose surgery is right after Cole's surgery. Their names both start with C's so I mixed them up." Then she proceeded to tell me a different time that we needed to be there since she had given me the time that the other boy needed to be at the hospital....and all HIS instructions of when to stop eating, etc.

Once she gave me the correct information for Cole, I couldn't help it...I had to ask, "So how can I be sure that the doctor won't confuse him with that same boy during the surgery?". She assured me it was a mistake on her part....oh, the doctor never makes that mistake...never has and never will. So how come I wasn't feeling reassured? I really wanted to ask what the other boy's surgery was for....what if my son woke up missing his right arm?? Or came out with a different-shaped nose? Okay, so I was probably getting all worked up but this is my baby we're talking about...he's never had surgery before...I'm a newbie at all this.

I quickly jotted a note to myself on the paperwork "in pre-op prep area, tell nurse to circle Cole's belly button with a black marker", a little tip that my friend Robin had shared with me in preparation for the big day. She also mentioned asking them for an anti-nausea medication (for Cole, not for me...although I could probably use some meds tomorrow) so I also jotted that down in my notes.

The funny thing is that Cole doesn't seem to be anxious about the surgery. I know it'll be a whole 'nother matter as he's being prepped in the hospital but for right now I'm pleased that he doesn't seem to be worried about it. Bella, on the other hand, was very concerned at first, which I found very sweet and endearing. She said, "Can I come with you and Cole, Mama?" and I told her no, that we'd be gone all day long and she'd be bored just sitting around waiting. The she asked, "Will Cole be okay?". So I explained to her that Cole would be fine and she'd see him as soon as we get home but that it was very sweet of her to show compassion for what he would be going through. Then Cole interrupted her and she slugged him on the side of the head and said, "be quiet....I'm talking right now". So much for concern and compassion, right?

Okay, so on that note, I'm gonna put on my game face and be brave, while inside I know I'll be a complete wreck!! This is a simple, routine surgery and I know everything will be fine. But could someone please hold me, anyway???

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The top 10 things my kids will never hear me say....

1) School? Who needs school? Let's just stay home and eat bon-bons all day while we play Candyland and watch soap operas. If Pam Anderson and Lindsey Lohan can be successful after dropping out of school, then it's obvious all you'll need are fake tits and a really bad attitude to be successful in life.

2) Cheerios are so boring....here, have a nice, huge bowl of Frosted Flakes. And to show you how much I love you, I'm gonna put an extra teaspoon of sugar on it. No, that soup bowl simply isn't big enough. Go grab the big mixing bowl out of the cabinet. Oh and while you're up, grab yourself a soda (make sure it's not diet)...you'll need something to help wash down those Frosted Flakes. What's that? You want water. Water's for wussies.

3) Oh no, you go sit down and relax....you've had a rough day of crying, screaming, tantruming, and destroying the house (even though you had a 2-hr nap this afternoon). My sole purpose in life is to clean up after you.

4) Eat all your dessert and then you can have some spinach. Um, wait, you forgot that last small piece of cake....chew and swallow, chew and swallow....open your mouth and show me that it's all gone....okay, now you may have a plate of spinach.

5) I know how much you really want that expensive train set. We'll just skip paying the electricity bill this month. Mommy doesn't need electricity to cook...we can just BBQ all our food. I hear that BBQ'd eggs are the bomb. And my blowdryer is really just a material item of convenience...no biggie, as long as you're happy, my dear.

6) Who cares if your teacher said you can't spit on other people?! I'm your mother and I'm telling you that spitting on others is a completely acceptable behavior. It's what separates the strong from the weak.

7) I can't stress enough how important it is that you only watch shows with violence and inappropriate content, like Beavis and Butthead, Power Rangers, Pokemon and Family Guy. Watching Sesame Street and Little Einsteins is just a waste of your time.

8) Make sure you use brass knuckles next time you fight with one another. No more wimpy stuff like hair pulling and scratching. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there. Why not start practicing now on one another...you're never too young to learn how to give a good ass-kicking.

9) I'm only going to let you have a bunkbed if you promise to jump off the top bunk. It's no fun unless there are broken bones and blood involved. We have priority parking at the ER so why not take advantage of it.

10) You don't have to take a bath tonight or tomorrow night, for that matter. Remember, we only wash ourselves once a week. We take water conservation very seriously in this family.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oh, why didn't anyone ever tell me??

As I was rocking Landon to sleep last night (yes, he's just 3 weeks shy of turning 2 and I still rock the boy to sleep), I was filled with a plethora of emotions. Plethora? Who came up with that word? It sounds like a disease that you'd find attacking your nether regions after a one-night stand with a guy who used the pick-up line "Wanna come see my HARD drive? Heh, heh...I promise it isn't 3.5 inches and it ain't floppy".

Anyway, yeah, I was rocking my baby to sleep and I found myself laughing (probably to keep myself from crying) about how much I've changed in the last 4 years, once I became a mother. Most of the changes were what I expected but some were not. And it made me wonder why no one ever tells you the brutal honest truth about motherhood. I'm sure it's for the same reason that no one ever tells you the brutal truth about childbirth. It ain't for the weak at heart, that's for sure.

1) I developed a deep, unconditional love for my breast pump. Both sets of twins were born prematurely before they had a chance to develop the sucking reflex. So I was introduced to the breast pump, as a way to still provide my little ones with breast milk (even the tiny amount that I had). I was attached to that thing morning, noon and night. I knew it was really bad when I woke up in the middle of the night while Cole and Bella were in the NICU and I greeted my breast pump with "Hello lover...let's get reacquainted, shall we?" and as I pumped breast milk, I sang silly love songs to my pump, like "If Loving You is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right" and "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You".

2) The internet became my best friend for information on what was "normal". I've googled everything from "is green, runny poop in a 3-month old baby normal?" to "how far does a baby have to puke for it to be considered projectile vomiting?"....and of course, "how freakin long does colic last?" and "is it possible to die from severe sleep deprivation?"

3) What I once thought was thoroughly and morbidly disgusting before I became a mother and swore on my grave that I would never do was suddenly no big deal. Like holding my child's butt up to my face and sniffing to check for a poopy diaper (while in the middle of the grocery store), pulling the diaper out to see if there was poop and getting said poop under my fingernail, pinching off a snot bubble with my bare fingers, digging my finger inside my child's nose to get that tiny booger that would keep making surprise reappearances every time he'd take a breath, catching puke in my bare hands so the carpet didn't get ruined and, lastly, fishing for turds in the bathtub....with my bare hands before the kids could could get their hands on them.

4) While my expertise at diagnosing emotional problems in children might have been considered impressive at some point in my career, nothing could hold a candle to the expertise I developed as a mother. Like changing a poopy diaper in the middle of the night in a very dark room, using the nasal aspirator on a snotty nose in the middle of the night in a very dark room (although there was the one time I had to grab the flashlight because I was pretty darn sure that it was not my child's NOSE I was aspirating), picking up a sleeping baby and placing a bottle gently into his/her mouth without waking him/her up (the infamous "dream feeding", which played a HUGE part in all my children sleeping through the night at an early age) and strapping one baby in to a Baby Bjorn on my chest while juggling the other baby on one hip AND emptying the dishwasher AND talking on the phone all at the same time was actually easy.

5) Sleep deprivation takes on a whole new meaning when you have a newborn. Seriously, no one can prepare you for how much sleep you will be deprived of in the first 12 weeks. Actually, the first 6 weeks were lovely. All the babies ever did was sleep. We'd have to wake them sometimes to eat, in order to keep them on the every 4-hr feeding schedule. Tim and I often would look at each other and think, "Geez, this is easier than we thought....they sleep all the time". Then they turned 6 weeks. That was the magic number and that's when all hell broke loose. They NEVER slept....night and day. It was like all of a sudden they came to life and thought "life is one big party". And of course no one tells you about all the stupid things you do when you experience lack of sleep. Like putting the mayo in the freezer without a lid on, putting the deli meat in the kitchen cabinet and then 2 days later wondering what that horrible smell is, remembering to lock the carseat into position in the car but forgetting to securely lock the baby in the carseat, getting in the car to go somewhere and then when halfway there, completely blanking out on where I was going in the first place (causing me to pull over to the side of the road and sob). Only to turn around and come home and then get a call from the dr's office, wondering why I never showed up for the their 3-month appt (and sobbing because what kind of horrible mother forgets that her babies have a dr's appt!)

6) At my 6-week check-up, my OB asked if I was suffering from post-partum depression and I said "no" because I thought having PPD meant you just sat around and cried all the time. No one told me that I could be suffering from PPD without all the tears. I walked around in a rage all the time, mad at the world, I didn't cry all the time but when I did it was over the simplest things (like not being able to open a container of apple juice or because we had run out of kleenex), I was tired all the time yet I could NOT sleep, my brain was on alert 24-hours a day and I was having panic attacks. I started suspecting it might be PPD when I began having disturbing intrusive thoughts about hurting my babies and fantasizing about disappearing into a cloud of dust every minute of the day. It wasn't until one morning when I found myself screaming at the top of my lungs at one of the babies who had been crying for what seemed like an eternity, that Tim told me to leave the house to get a grip on myself and I packed my bags, drove to the bank and withdrew $500 with the idea of running away....far, far away. Thank God I came to my senses and that's when I was introduced to Wellbutrin. Tom Cruise can just kiss my ass.

7) I second-guessed every little thing. Every decision I made I would end up second-guessing. Here's a conversation I remember having with my husband one day:

Me: Do you think I should call the dr about this rash on Cole's back?
Tim: Sure, it couldn't hurt
Me: Well, I'm not sure I should call the dr. I mean, it's not bothering him. He doesn't have a fever. Should I just wait to call the dr if he develops a fever?
Tim: Yes, just wait.
Me: But what if it's something serious and I should have called the dr. I think I'll make an appt.
Tim: Okay, yeah, you should probably make an appt
Me: I don't want to seem like I'm going to the dr's over every little thing. They probably hate me by now. I think I'll just wait.
Tim: Alright.
Me: What do you think? Why can't you just give me your opinion, for Christ's sake? Oh never mind, I'm gonna call and make an appt. Hmmmm, maybe I'll just call the advice nurse and see what she thinks since you can't seem to decide on what to do....

8) Even though I had struggled with infertility and desperately wanted children, there were times when I found myself completely distraught, overwhelmed, exhausted and wondering why on earth I wanted children so badly. Yeah, I said it. It's the ugly truth. You can never be prepared for how much children will change your life. They will rock your world, they will turn it upside down, your life will never be the same. After my 1st miscarriage, I listened to a friend complain about her 2-yr old child who refused to be potty trained, and I thought to myself, "I'll never complain about anything once I have children...I will love every minute of motherhood". I can't tell you how many times I've laughed at myself for ever thinking that. Unfortunately, motherhood is not all sunshine and roses 24 hours a day.

9) Even though I had my bad moments and still do, I certainly wasn't prepared for how much love could fill my heart until I had kids. I loved my husband, more than the day I married him, and just when I thought there was no way to love another human being any possibly more than I loved him, my children entered my life. And I thought I knew happiness....but the happiness I had in my life was nothing comparable to the happiness I have now, especially as I watch my four children play together and hear their laughter throughout the house.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oh, why didn't anyone tell me??

As I was rocking Landon to sleep tonight (yes, he's just 3 weeks shy of turning 2 and I still rock the boy to sleep), I was filled with a plethora of emotions. Plethora? Plethora? Who came up with that word? It sounds like a disease that you'd find attacking your nether regions after a one-night stand with a guy who used the pick-up line "Wanna come see my HARD drive? Heh, heh...I promise it isn't 3.5 inches and it ain't floppy".

Anyway, yeah, I was rocking my baby to sleep and I found myself laughing (probably to keep myself from crying) about how much I've changed in the last 4 years, once I became a mother. Most of the changes were what I expected but some were not. And it made me wonder why no one ever tells you the brutal honest truth about motherhood. I'm sure it's for the same reason that no one ever tells you the brutal truth about childbirth. It ain't for the weak at heart, that's for sure.

1) I developed a deep, unconditional love for my breast pump. Both sets of twins were born prematurely before they had a chance to develop the sucking reflex. So I was introduced to the breast pump, as a way to still provide my little ones with breast milk. I was attached to that thing morning, noon and night. I knew it was really bad when I woke up in the middle of the night when Cole and Bella were in the NICU and I greeted my breast pump with "Hello lover...let's get reacquainted, shall we?" and as I pumped breast milk, I sang silly love songs to my pump, like "If Loving You is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right" and "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You".




2) The internet became my best friend for information on what was "normal". I googled everything from "is green, runny poop in a 3-month old baby normal?" to "how far does a baby have to puke for it to be considered projectile vomiting?"....and of course, "how freakin long does colic last?" and "is it possible to die from severe sleep deprivation?"




3) What I once thought was thoroughly and morbidly disgusting before I became a mother and swore on my grave that I would never do was suddenly no big deal. Like holding my child's butt up to my face and sniffing to check for a poopy diaper, pulling the diaper out to see if there was poop and getting said poop under my fingernail, pinching off a snot bubble with my bare fingers, digging my finger inside my child's nose to get that blasted booger, catching puke in my bare hands so the carpet didn't get ruined and, lastly, fishing for turds in the bathtub....with my bare hands.




4) While my expertise at diagnosing emotional problems in children might have been considered impressive at some point in my career, nothing could hold a candle to the expertise I developed as a mother. Like changing a diaper in the middle of the night in a very dark room, using the nasal aspirator on a snotty nose in the middle of the night in a very dark room (although there was the one time I had to grab the flashlight because I was pretty darn sure that it was not my child's NOSE I was aspirating), picking up a sleeping baby and placing a bottle gently into his/her mouth without waking him/her up (the infamous "dream feeding", which played a HUGE part in all my children sleeping through the night at an early age) and strapping one baby in to a Baby Bjorn on my chest while juggling the other baby on one hip AND emptying the dishwasher AND talking on the phone all at the same time was actually easy.




5) Sleep deprivation takes on a whole new meaning when you have a newborn. Seriously, no one can prepare you for how much sleep you will be deprived of in the first 12 weeks. Actually, the first 6 weeks were lovely. All the babies ever did was sleep. We'd have to wake them sometimes to eat, in order to keep them on the every 4-hr feeding schedule. Tim and I often would look at each other and think, "Geez, this is easier than we thought....they sleep all the time". Then they turned 6 weeks. That was the magic number and that's when all hell broke loose. They NEVER slept....night and day. It was like all of a sudden they came to life and thought "life is one big party". And of course no one tells you about all the stupid things you do when you experience lack of sleep. Like putting the mayo in the freezer without a lid on, putting the deli meat in the kitchen cabinet and then 2 days later wondering what that horrible smell is, remembering to lock the carseat into position in the car but forgetting to securely lock the baby in the carseat, getting in the car to go somewhere and then when halfway there, completely blanking out on where I was going in the first place (causing me to pull over to the side of the road and sob). Only to turn around and come home and then get a call from the dr's office, wondering why you never showed up for the babies' 3 month appt (and sobbing because what kind of horrible mother forgets her babies have a dr's appt!)


6) At my 6-week check-up, my OB asked if I was suffering from post-partum depression and I said "no" because I thought having PPD meant you just sat around and cried all the time. No one told me that I could be suffering from PPD without all the tears. I walked around in a rage all the time, mad at the world, I didn't cry all the time but when I did it was over the simplest things (like not being able to open a container of apple juice), I was tired all the time yet I could NOT sleep, my brain was on alert 24-hours a day and I was having panic attacks. I started suspecting it might be PPD when I began having disturbing intrusive thoughts about hurting my babies and fantasizing about disappearing into a cloud of dust every minute of the day. It wasn't until one morning when I found myself screaming at the top of my lungs at one of the babies who had been crying for what seemed like an eternity, that Tim told me to leave the house to get a grip on myself and I packed my bags, drove to the bank and withdrew $500 with the idea of running away....far, far away. Thank God I came to my senses and that's when I was introduced to Wellbutrin. Tom Cruise can kiss my ass.


7) I second-guessed every little thing. Every decision I made I would end up second-guessing. Here's a conversation I remember having with my husband one day (just to show how bad this was):


Me: Do you think I should call the dr about this rash?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dear Wierd Creepy Guy at Borders,

I'm not sure who you are, though you seem to think you know who I am. The first time our eyes met, you smiled and I smiled back. It was an act of kindness and politeness on my part, that's all it was. As I continued to browse through a couple books I was considering buying, I felt like I was being stared at. I looked up and there you were again, staring at me with that creepy smile on your face. I wondered if maybe you had X-ray vision and you could see that I was wearing my hot pink underwear with the little red hearts all over them...

I moved to another part of the store at that point because, honestly, you were really freaking me out. That's when I noticed you following me. I tried to convince myself that maybe you just had the same interests as me and that's why you followed me to the parenting section. Are you also a screamer and you were trying to find a book on scream-free parenting? Or perhaps you're more into the Love and Logic thing? Magic 1-2-3? Trying to get your kids to go green? Trying to get the in-laws to mind their own business?

Nope, I guess not. Apparently, you thought I was your high-school crush, Rosie Nelson. Sure, it had been about 20 years since you had last seen Rosie but you were pretty darn confident that I was Rosie. Let me tell you that I am not Rosie Nelson, nor have I ever heard of Rosie Nelson. No, I'm not lying to you. I'm sorry that I look "exactly like Rosie Nelson" and I'm sorry that somehow seeing me, even though I'm not Rosie Nelson, has brought back some painful memories for you. I'm sorry that Rosie Nelson didn't go to prom with you. I'm sorry she broke your heart. Honestly, I am not Rosie Nelson trying to pretend to be someone else...I would show you my ID to prove it to you but I'm afraid you'll memorize my address and hunt me down and then next thing I know I'll be stuck in a deep hole in the ground with you screaming down to me "It places the lotion in the basket". I don't think I'd be so lucky as to have Clarice Starling come to my rescue.

I'm a total stranger....do you really need to be telling me all this? Dude, you need help. I honestly think you think I'm Rosie Nelson....in the psychology world, this is what we call "transference". You might want to discuss this with your psychiatrist next time you go in for a medication evaluation. You might even want to mention that you need an increase in your anti-psychotic meds.

Ever heard of Classmates? My Space? Facebook? Twitter? Those would all be really good ways of finding the real Rosie Nelson, instead of stalking some innocent, unsuspecting woman who's just trying to buy a couple books at Borders on how to be a better parent. Although I suspect that if Rosie Nelson were smart, she'd probably have moved very far away from here after high school (and more than likely has all her profiles listed as "private" because even 20 years later, I'm sure she must still harbor anger over you calling her HO-sie Rosie for the remainder of high school...and the fact that you still find that funny is just disturbing....seriously).

For future reference, a better way to have handled this in order to avoid completely freaking me out, would have been to just walk over casually (without the whole creepy smile thing going on) and ask "Hey, you look like a friend of mine from high school...any chance you're Rosie Nelson?". I would've smiled politely and said, "No, I'm sorry, I'm not...but have a nice day". You would've walked away...end of story. It didn't need to turn into a therapy session for you where you try to cleanse your soul and attempt one more try at letting go of the grief that Rosie Nelson caused for you.

On that note, wishing you lots of luck in the future (and lots of psych evaluations)....Oh and by the way, you've made a huge mistake in underestimating me. I've read "The Gift of Fear" and I can take your ass down!

Justice for Jack....His parents need your support!

What would you do if your child died and you found out later that it might have been preventable? What would you do if you later learned secrets that were being kept from you by the hospital and its staff that could have made a difference between the life and death of your child? How do you explain to your child's brother that his twin won't be coming home to celebrate their 4th birthday together? How do you rise above it and find a way to wake up each and every morning to face another day without your child?

While the above questions have been posed as hypothetical, the sad reality is that my friends, Robin and Todd Corbo, are having to figure out the answers to those questions while learning first-hand what they will have to do to find justice for their son, Jack.


Jack Corbo, was born a twin and contracted a virus in the hospital as a baby; the virus severely damaged his heart. This led to a heart transplant at the University of Minnesota, Children's Hospital - Fairview when he was four months old, but the Corbo’s later discovered questionable social history about Jack’s donor heart. The heart never worked right from day one. As if that wasn't disturbing enough, the Corbo's later learned that four other hospitals had turned down the donor baby's heart, due to the questionable social history of the heart, before it was accepted by the U of M for Jack! None of this information was disclosed to the Corbo's at the time of the transplant....how does that qualify as "informed consent"?!

Within time, the donor heart began to fail and it was obvious that Jack would need another heart transplant. The staff at the hospital claimed he could only be classified 1A (top of the list) if he were in the hospital (he had been managing ok in his wait at home, able to have some quality of life and be with his twin brother). While Jack was in the hospital waiting, the program downgraded his status several times and didn’t tell his parents; once so the surgeon could go on Spring break. There were several "questionable circumstances" as to why Jack’s status seemed to yo-yo between the lower status and the much-needed upgrading; it was even reported once "they forgot."

It's important to note here that when the surgeon determined that Jack would need to be re-transplanted, she suddenly starting blaming him and saying he might not deserve another heart. Her direct quote to Robin Corbo was "I'm not sure he should get another heart. I think he might have done something to that heart." She claimed that he could have some congenital myopathy that would just attack a new heart, when in reality, she was just creating a smoke screen and trying to blame the patient instead of the fact that she had accepted a bad donor heart. She knew the history of the donor heart, yet never disclosed any of it to the Corbo's, and obviously she wasn't about to disclose it when she determined Jack would need another heart. Furthermore, to cover herself, this surgeon delayed listing Jack last summer until THREE neurologists cleared him saying he did not have any congenital issues. Precious time that was wasted to cover her own mistake.

As Jack and his parents waited for a new heart for five months at the hospital, he contracted influenza B and a PICC line infection that was transferred from the feces of another patient, one of the most commonly-reported problems plaguing hospitals. He died shortly before his 4th birthday.

The Corbo’s discovered through an investigation following Jack’s death that he was not required to live in the hospital to be eligible for 1A classification. By avoiding the stay in the hospital, he would not have contracted influenza B and the PICC line infection, which compromised his immune system even more than it already was. Sadly, the most horrifying information they learned was that Jack missed out on TWO heart offers that came at the time he was downgraded in the hospital to a 1B. The Corbo’s were unaware. It was at this time they discovered the background on the first heart the hospital gave Jack.

Upon learning all this disturbing information after Jack's death, the Corbo's decided to take matters into their own hands. To think this could possibly happen to another innocent child, they knew they had to do something to change the system that had failed their son. When the Minneapolis NBC affiliate learned of Jack's story, they conducted a three-part investigative series (“Finding a heart the hard way”) which originally aired on Nov 11-13, 2008 and chronicles the death of Jack Corbo and what happened to him as he waited for a second heart at the U of M. The series was later posted on You-Tube (link to follow).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R8fi-XSrj8

How can anyone read Jack's story and/or watch the You-Tube video and not feel compelled to join the Corbo's in their plight to find Justice for Jack? When watching Robin Corbo on the NBC interview describe her last few moments with her precious son, it just breaks your heart and makes you want to take action to prevent another parent from ever having to hear their child's last words be "All done, Mama, all done" because he is tired of fighting so hard to survive.

The University of Minnesota and UNOS (United Network for Organs Sharing)need to be held accountable and investigated. The U of M is an institution that receives both state and federal taxpayer dollars and UNOS is a federal contractor. Americans need to hold our sub-standard healthcare system accountable. We all deserve better.

This compelling story needs to be told to illustrate what is happening in our hospitals today. If everyone reading this post could take just a few minutes out of their busy schedule to click the link below ("e-mail letter in support of media coverage") and send it to the following media contacts, it would be greatly appreciated. The more letters that get sent, the better the chances are that the Justice for Jack story will be told through the most influential media sources, ultimately influencing the changes that need to happen. Even if you are only able to send one or two e-mails, you'll have helped spread the word. If you happen to know contacts or have sources within the media that you feel would be helpful, please contact them as well.

E-mail letter in support of media coverage

The Oprah Show:
Jack Mori, producer (e-mail links will be highlighted when you click on them)
jmori@harpo.com

If you'd prefer to write your own words, you can go directly to Oprah's site by clicking this link Contact Oprah and sending her a letter, requesting that she look into the "Jack of Hearts" story and the Justice for Jack campaign.

Dateline NBC:
Marianne Haggerty, coordinating producer
marianne.haggerty@nbc.com

People Magazine:
Elizabeth McNeil
liz_mcneil@peoplemag.com

CBS EARLY SHOW:
Betsy Alexander, Senior Producer
alexanderb@cbsnews.com

GOOD MORNING AMERICA:
Patty Neger, Senior Producer
Patty.neger@abc.com

TODAY SHOW:
Marc Victor, Senior Producer for the 9-10 am hour
Marc.victor@nbcuni.com

If you'd like to contact the Corbo's directly, please visit their website at Caring Bridge - http://www.caringbridge.org/mn/corboboys/index.htm

As the Corbo's story has gotten more press, attention and support by the public, the U of M has changed its policy and is allowing patients waiting for a transplant to wait at home and still be listed as a 1A, if they are able. While this is definitely a triumph to be celebrated, it is extremely disturbing and unfortunate that this change in policy was made too late to make a difference for Jack. The U of M Children's Hospital has also had a steep decline in admissions to its children's floors. Due to the negative publicity the hospital has received since this story has come to light, it is believed that other pediatric doctors are not referring patients to the hospital because of what happened to Jack.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and supporting the Justice for Jack campaign. If there is any consolation to be found by the Corbo's, it's that in the short time Jack was here on earth, he touched so many lives.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Random Thoughts

randomtuesday

I saw this meme on The Un Mom's blog and since I can be a pretty random person from time to time, I thought I'd participate...

Random Thought #1: What's up with those people who never say "fine, thanks...and you?" back when you ask them how they are?? I always thought that was just par for the course. You say, "Hi, how are you?" and the person's supposed to say "fine thanks...and you?" or "how's your day going?", they're supposed to reply, "good...and yours?". When the person only replies, "fine" without asking how I am, it always throws me off. There's an uncomfortable, awkward silence as I think to myself, "surely, he's gonna ask me how I am". But then he doesn't. Why? That's just so rude. This goes along the same line as those rude people who don't give you an acknowledgement wave when you let their car cut in front of you in line while sitting at a red light.

Random Thought #2: I can never seem to come up with good answers in a moment's notice when my kids ask me questions. I've got a MA degree, yet I can't come up with a simple answer for "why does it rain?". This morning it was pouring and Cole asked me where rain comes from. Then I heard myself say, "remember when I told you that the angels cry whenever a child picks their nose? Well, there must be a whole lotta kids picking their noses this morning". He said, "Oh" and went on his merry way. I know that won't satisfy him for long though and I'll have to actually look the real answer up on the internet. Especially when he comes home one day when he's in 4th grade and says, "Billy said that you're lying about the angels crying".

Random Thought #3: Why is it that the things I thought were cute about my husband while we were dating, aren't so cute anymore? Those things are actually what annoy me most now. And it completely confuses him. "But, sweetie, you used to love that about me"...."now? Not so much....now stop flipping the channels back and forth on the tv and decide what you want to watch before I throw a frying pan at your head". How on earth did I ever find that endearing??? And how come when I send him to the store with a very detailed list of things to buy (and we're talking very detailed, down to the name of the brand and the size needed), does he call me every 3 seconds with "um, do you want shredded cheese or the block cheese?....then he calls back 1 second later with "do you want sharp cheddar or mild cheddar?"....I say, "are you even reading the list I made...it says all this on there!!!" 3 seconds later....ring, ring...."did you want frozen green beans....because I can't find any". That's because you're in the PRODUCE section....try going over to the FREEZER section where you will find FROZEN green beans!!! Seriously, why didn't I just do the shopping myself?

Random Thought #4: How come my kids will eat hard-boiled eggs but they hate fried eggs?? Why do they love spagetti sauce, yet they refuse to eat tomatoes? How come they love slices of cheddar cheese, but when I offer it to them shredded, they freak out? Why do they love peanut butter, but claim that peanuts taste like poop? How do they know what poop tastes like? Let's just end this random thought on that note.

Random Thought #5: You say sub sandwich, I say hoagie. You say tennis shoes, I say sneaker. You say supper, I say dinner. You say aggregate, I say chattahoochee. Let's call the whole thing off. Okay, really....it's funny that we all have different sayings for things depending on where we grew up. Take for instance the whole aggregate vs chattahoochee subject. I was raised in South FL where for those of us who had pools, we often had decks made of chattahoochee. Then we moved out to CA when I was 15, where I learned that people had no clue what chattahoochee was. Apparently, Californians make their decks out of aggregate. I must admit, it does sound like an odd word. Chatta-hoochee...hmmmm, maybe it's because it ends with the word "hoochee". See, there I go again...mind always in the gutter.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

6 major discoveries I made in the last 72 hours...

1) My mind is constantly in the gutter. Take for instance, this innocent conversation between my two 4-yr olds:

Bella: Cole, give me one your balls.
Cole: No, I need them. I had them first. Go find your own balls to play with.
Bella: I can't find any other ones. Give me one...you need to share.
Cole: NO!! Go away...stop trying to grab them!
Bella: I just want ONE...and then you can play with the other one.
Cole: Fine....here, just take both of them. I'll go use Garrett's balls.
Bella: Mommy, Cole threw his balls at my face.

To which I responded, once I could stop myself from doubling over with laughter, "Cole, you don't throw balls at your sister's face. You could've just handed them to her"....on a silver platter, like your father did the day he married me. Oh shush, I didn't say that last part out loud but I was certainly thinking it.

2) Hot Wheels were invented by the Devil. See this cute little helicopter Hot Wheels that Landon was dying to have?


Sure, it looks innocent at first. But when your child leaves it laying on the floor on its side, in this position:

It can mortally injure you. If you're like me, you'll learn this the hard way....by stepping on it with your bare foot in a very dark room. If you've ever stepped on your child's legos with your bare feet in the middle of the night, I assure you that stepping on a metal Hot Wheels vehicle is much more painful, especially when the sharp point on one of the propellers goes right into your heel. And I mean, right IN to your heel, as in penetrating the skin so the damn Hot Wheels is now attached to you.

3) I'm an even bigger wimp than I thought when it comes to pain and my husband has one of hell of a bizarre sense of humor. After the Hot Wheels was embedded in my foot, I screamed, "Holy F*****G Hell", what did I just step on???" My husband looked at my foot and laughed. He laughed!!! I was in pain and he actually laughed. I don't know why I should be shocked by this...this is the same man who sat in the hospital room with me on a chair next to my bed and munched on a hot meatball sandwich from Subway while I was in pre-term labor with Cole and Bella as I writhed in pain from the contractions that were coming left and right. Every 2 minutes, I would groan in pain and as he would take another bite of his sandwich, he'd say "Sorry, sweetie, that you aren't able to eat anything...but let me know if you need me, okay?"....oh, and then he laughed. He still swears to this day that he didn't realize I was in THAT much pain.

4) I have a tendency to go overboard with the "what if's" in certain situations. Like as my husband removed the Hot Wheels helicopter from the heel of my foot, my foot immediately started bleeding. And I suddenly had images of me being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Why? Because what if I developed an infection from having this metal propeller jammed into my foot. And what if gangrene then set in and I'd have to have my foot cut off. And
what if we couldn't afford an artificial foot and I'd have to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Or what if I get lead poisoning and I die and my poor kids have to go the rest of their life telling people that they lost their mother to an unfortunate helicopter accident....they'd have to make it sound more dramatic than it really was because who would've thought someone could die after stepping on a child's TOY. To which my husband suddenly interrupted me and said, "well, now that's just stupid....we wouldn't be letting our kids play with toys made with lead paint"....I responded with, "Oh no....but we'll let them play with toys with such sharp and dangerous edges that it could actually impale a body part." Lookie here at the result of my mortal injury....


5) The ability to cause someone to feel guilty is a very powerful thing. When I handed my husband his Valentine's Day card, he joked with me and said, "What? No present?" and I responded, "Hmmm, well, let's see....I gave birth to your FOUR children in a period of TWO years...my tummy now jiggles like jello, my boobs look like two fried eggs hanging on nails, and my pelvic floor muscles are still so weak from giving birth two TWO sets of TWINS that everytime I laugh, sneeze, cough or lift one of the kids, I pee in my pants a little....I think that pretty much covers me for the next 10 years' worth of Valentine's Day gifts". What could he say after that? Not much, except to retreat to the family room with his tail tucked between his legs. Where was my Valentine's Day present? Apparently, still sitting in the jewelry case at Macy's.

6) Watching Oprah will only give you nightmares and could possibly destroy your marriage. Sure, I love Oprah. But then she does shows on cheating husbands (did you know that 1 out of every 3 husbands will cheat on their wives?) and I have nightmares for days about it. Every morning I'll wake up and say to Tim, "I had another nightmare that you were cheating on me". He tries to turn it around and says, "does someone have a guilty conscious?". Yeah, right....after taking care of the kids for 10 hours by myself, cooking meals all day and cleaning the house, I actually have the brain power to come up with a fabulous lie like, say, I need to do some grocery shopping at 9:00 at night....and then go to my lover's house and boink him real quick and still get home in time to get in bed by 10:00 so I can do it all over again the next day?? So no more Oprah for me....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What's so wrong about googling the ex-boyfriend who crushed my heart?

1) What's so wrong about laughing hysterically that the ex-boyfriend is now bald, overweight and STILL trying to find the woman of his dreams, at the age of 44?

2) What's so wrong about sending him a long, detailed e-mail about how wonderful my life turned out and that he did me a huge favor when he cheated on me....oh and adding at the end of the letter "Hey, maybe you should apply to be the next 'Bachelor'"

3) What's so wrong about telling my kids that in order to get a gift under their pillow from the "Sleep Fairy", they need to sleep in their own beds and not climb into Mommy and Daddy's bed in the middle of the night?

4) What's so wrong about forgetting to leave the gift under their pillow and then telling the kids in the morning, "Uh, the Sleep Fairy e-mailed me and said her wings broke so she had to take them to be replaced at the Wing Shop. She sends her apologies and will be stopping by tonight to leave you a gift, if you stay in your own bed.....again"?

5) What's so wrong about singing the "Bean Fart Song" to my kids to get them to eat beans? "Bean, beans...they're good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you fart. The more you fart, the better you feel. So eat your beans at every meal". I can't possbily be the only Mom who has ever broken out into song in desperation to get their kids to eat something healthy, even if it does reduce me to the maturity level of a 4 year old

6) What's so wrong about telling their preschool teacher the next day that I have no idea where they learned the "Bean Fart Song" and apologizing profusely that my children started singing it to the class during circle time?

7) What's so wrong about telling my kids they cannot eat Oreos before dinner, while I grab a handful and stuff them in my mouth as soon as they leave the room?

8) What's so wrong about going to the gym, dropping the kids off at the gym's daycare and then hanging out in the sauna and reading a good book the whole time?

9) What's so wrong about calling my husband on the way home from the gym after my "grueling and vigorous work-out" and asking, "Hey, would you mind ordering a pizza for dinner? That step class at the gym really kicked my butt and I'm just too tired to cook".

10) What's so wrong about telling my husband that we can't possibly go to Tahoe with his family during Valentine's Day weekend because I have a huge surprise planned for him? (and then scrambling like a mad woman to find a babysitter on such short notice and attempting to get a reservation at one of the top-notch restaurants in town)

11) What's so wrong about giving my husband a countdown every single day until my 40th birthday this year and saying, "It's really no big deal...I mean, it's not like I want a huge surprise party or diamond earrings or anything"?

12) What's so wrong about "accidentally" leaving my address book with all my friends' phone numbers on the desk in his office upstairs and bribing my daughter to say, "Daddy, don't you think Mommy would look pretty with those diamond earrings?" as we walk past a jewelry store in the mall?

13) What's so wrong about sobbing for a good 10 minutes when I realize that I'm starting to say the same things to my kids that my mom said to me....that I swore I would never say to my own kids because it was just too ridiculous? Such as....

-- Stop hitting your sister. Yes, I can see you. No, I don't have to turn around to see you because I have eyes in the back of my head.

-- You can cry from now til doomsday but that doesn't change the fact that I said you cannot draw a mustache with permanent marker on your sister while she's sleeping.

-- Because I'm the Mom, that's why. And don't bother asking your father because he knows I'm in charge and he'll only say "go ask your mother".

-- Because I said so, that's why. Don't question me...and don't think I didn't see you make a face at me. Oh and by the way, if you look at me like that again, I can freeze your face so it stays that way forever. Why? Because I'm the Mom, that's why.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My First Giveaway - Sambucol Black Elderberry Immune System Dietary Supplement

No matter where you live, it seems this winter season has made it particularly difficult to stay healthy. Almost everyone I know has been suffering from colds, viruses or the flu. And in my home, if one person gets sick, we ALL get sick. My husband can't afford to miss a day of pay from work and, as a mom, my kids depend on me to take care of them. So for me, it's important that I do everything I can to avoid becoming sick and/or run down. Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a product called Sambucol. It couldn't have come at a better time, just as cold and flu season were upon us.

What is Sambucol and why is it so unique? Sambucol, developed by a world-renowned virologist, is a unique black elderberry extract rich in immune supporting flavonoids. What makes black elderberries more superior than any other dark-skinned fruit is that elderberries have the highest concentration of specific flavonoids called anthocyanins...2x more than blueberries and significantly more than cranberries. Sambucol Black Elderberry is the original elderberry product that has been researched and tested in published clinical trials showing it to help support the immune system. Sambucol’s unique formulation and extraction process preserves and maximizes the naturally-occurring health benefits of the berry.

When your immune system isn't working up to par, you get sick more easily, your body has a harder time fighting off allergies, bodily injuries are slower to heal and your energy level can be extremely low. Overall, you just don't feel as good as you could if you were healthier. When taken on a daily basis, Sambucol can help boost your body's immune system.

Since taking Sambucol every day, I definitely have had more energy and I just feel better, overall. With the exception of Landon (the pickiest of the bunch and the one I referred to as "sick child" in one of my recent posts), my other kids, Cole, Bella and Garrett were happy to take the Sambucol for Kids on a daily basis. Since starting this product, Cole and Bella haven't missed one day of preschool, while many of their classmates have been absent several times, due to illness. What I liked the most is that it has a pleasant taste that didn't send my kids running for the hills. This is especially important considering the FDA has made a claim that cold and cough medicines are no longer safe for children 4 years old and younger. It leaves most parents in a blunder of what they can give to their kids to help relieve cold and cough symptoms.

Sambucol is sold nationwide at major retailers and drug stores, such as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. You also have the option to purchase it online. Currently, when you visit the Sambucol website, you can download a coupon for $4.00 off any Sambucol product of your choice. There are a wide variety to choose from....look here to view them all.

DO YOU WANT TO TRY SAMBUCOL TOO? Well, you can!!! By entering this giveaway, you can win the “Immune Boosting Gift Set” (total value of $45) which includes the following:

Sambucol® Original Formula - $14.99 for 4 ounce bottle
Sambucol® For Kids 2yrs-12yrs. - $14.99 for 4 ounce bottle.
Sambucol® Original Formula Chewable Tablets - $14.99 for 30 tablets

Here's how to enter:
Visit Sambucol and then come back here and leave me a comment telling me which product(s) you think you and your family could benefit from the most.

Here are some more ways to win (each one gives you an additional entry in the contest):
** You must complete the first entry above for other entries to count. Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry.

1) Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to my blog
2) Add yourself to my follower list (or let me know you are already following)
3) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (leave the URL of your tweet)
4) Add my blog to your blogroll

This contest ends on Wednesday, February 18 at 11:00 pm PST. One winner will be chosen via Random.org and the prize will be sent by the sponsor. Please leave your e-mail in your comment if it is not listed on your profile.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sixth Picture Meme

Amy at Great Cakes Soapworks tagged me with this fun meme!


The definition of meme given by wordnet.princeton.edu: “a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation).”

The rules of this meme are:

1. Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2. Go to the 6th Folder, then pick the 6th picture in that folder.
3. Post that picture on your blog and tell the story that goes along with the picture.
4. Tag 6 other people that you know or don’t know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.


So the 6th picture in my 6th folder is this one:

This was Bella on Christmas morning 2007! I had been waiting by the Christmas tree with camera in hand to capture the kids' reactions as they saw all the presents under the Christmas tree. Tim had a hard time getting her to wake up so he said, "Don't you wanna see what Santa left for you downstairs??" and she stumbled out of bed and came down the stairs. I snapped this picture right as she entered the living room. I just love the sleepy-eyed look on her face and her hair all snarled in knots, as she rubbed her eyes. Right after this picture was taken, she looked at the presents and asked, "Can we open them now?"....so sweet!

This is such a fun meme that instead of forwarding it to just 6 people, I'm forwarding it to everyone on my blog roll!! I hope you'll participate (and let me know so I can see your picture!)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Presenting "Just another day at the Pediatrician's Office"

"Just Another Day at the Pediatrician's Office"

Act 1, Scene 1....

Mother walks in to pediatrician's office with her 4 children. She registers one of her children with the receptionist, pays her $10.00 co-pay and then looks for a place to sit down in the crowded waiting room. She finally finds 5 chairs in a corner of the room and she tells her children to sit down and stay put.

Lady next to the Mother: Excuse me, are they all yours?
Mother: Yes, they're all mine.
Lady: Is it TWO sets of twins?
Mother: Yes, two sets of twins
Lady: Wow, that's rare, isn't it?

Mother smiles at the lady and then realizes her children are not next to her. Mother overhears the lady next to her lean over to what looks like her husband and whispers, "she has two sets of twins...can you believe that?". Mother thinks to herself that last time she checked, it wasn't a crime to have two sets of twins.

Mother sees all 4 of her children running around the waiting room like a bunch of wild maniacs and shakes her head in pity wondering how the other parents in the waiting room got their kids to sit still in their chairs. The sick child starts wheezing and the Mother says, between gritted teeth, "All of you....sit down NOW...it will only be a few more minutes....in the meantime, let's read some books". The mother pulls out some books from the diaper bag that she brought along. She pretends they're all paying attention.

Act 1, Scene 2:

We find the Mother and her 4 children in the hallway of the pediatrician's office. Sick child is getting weighed and having his temperature taken. Two of the children ask the nurse why they can't be weighed, why can't they have their temperature taken....they cry. Nurse says "I don't see many kids who enjoy this process". Mother nods her head in agreement that there is just something a little off with her kids.

Act 1, Scene 3:

Nurse shows Mother and her 4 children to the room where sick child will be seen by pediatrician. Nurse leaves the room. Child #1 is trying to access the computer in the room, Child #2 has just discovered how to get the lid off of the hazardous material garbage can, Child #3 is eating something off the dirty floor and sick child is crying in Mother's arms with a bucket load of snot running down from his nose into his mouth. Mother's chin begins to quiver but she promised herself she would not cry. Mother silently curses Husband and wishes that he should have at least one opportunity in his lifetime to take all 4 kids to the pediatrician's office by himself. Mother finally gets children in order by grabbing a bunch of rubber gloves off the pediatrician's counter and blowing them up up into balloons. She even goes so far as draw faces on the balloons and do a puppet show. All 4 children are entertained.....for 10 seconds.

For the remainder of this scene, all audience hears is a bunch of commotion coming from Exam Room #5, along with the faint sobs of one exhausted Mother.

Act 1, Scene 4:

Dr M walks into office and sees all 4 children with Mother. Mother thinks she sees him frown for a minute. Dr says, "so you brought the whole crew with you today?". Mother fears if she opens her mouth, she may cry so she just nods her head.

Dr: So what can I do for you today?
Mother: Well, sick child is wheezing so I'm concerned that his cold might have turned into bronchitis.
Dr: Oh, yes, I know this happens quite frequently with sick child. Let's take a look.

Sick child cries as Dr M pokes and prods. The other 3 children are shredding the paper on the exam table. Dr M pretends not to notice, as he is happy that they are out of his hair for now.

Dr M: Go ahead and take sick child down to radiology to have his lungs X-ray'd. And then go home and give him a nebulizer treatment. I'll call you with the results of the X-ray. It's more than likely a case of bronchitis. Make sure he drinks a lot of liquids and use saline solution to keep his nose clear.

Act 2, Scene 1:

We find the Mother waiting in the Radiology department with all 4 kids. She looks tired but she's smiling at her children, who are also now very tired.

Child #1: Mommy, when are we going home?
Mother: As soon as sick child get's his X-rays done.
Child #2: I'm hungry.

The mother reaches into the overfilled diaper bag and pulls out a granola bar. Child #1 and Child #2 fight over the granola bar as people in the waiting room start to stare. Sick child has just wiped snot all over the Mother's shirt. Child #3 smells like poop.

Mother to child #3: Did you poop in your diaper?
Child #3: (smiles) Yup.

Act 2, Scene 2:

Sick child is called to the back for his X-ray. Mother asks X-ray tech if she can change child #3's poopy diaper first before they start the X-ray. X-ray tech shrugs his shoulders and says "um...." and Mother pulls out a changing pad from the diaper bag before he can answer and proceeds to change child #3 on the floor. Mother smiles sweetly and says, "what are you gonna do? They poop when they have to poop".

X-ray tech: Your other kids can't be in here while I'm doing the X-ray for sick child. Can the person you brought with you watch them in the waiting room?
Mother: Oh, you must have mistaken me for Jennifer Lopez. I don't have a nanny. It's just me and the kids today, buddy. They're too young to be in the waiting room by themselves.

X-ray tech looks put out and irritated. Mother stares him down with her evil eye, as if to say "like I'm enjoying this anymore than you are??" X-ray tech tells her the other children can sit behind the glass shield where he'll sit as he takes the pictures. Mother imagines the X-ray tech will go home and tell his wife about the horrible demon children he met today at work.

Scene ends with Mother holding sick child upright in what looks like a death trap for children. The X-ray tech explains that they have to use this device to keep young children from moving during an X-ray. Mother understands this but it doesn't stop her from shedding tears as sick child looks at her with huge, pleading eyes that are also filled with tears.

The audience sees the other children emptying the diaper bag all over the floor, mischievously laughing. A crunching sound is heard as Mother looks over to see child #3 emptying a bag of goldfish on the floor while Child #1 and Child #2 stomp on them. X-ray tech looks mortified. Mother is laughing hysterically and crying at the same time.

Act 3, Scene 1:

Mother loads her children into the mini-van. Her hair is a mess, she has dry snot streaks all over her black shirt and the mascara she happily applied on her eyes this morning is all smeared under her eyes. She drives home as fast as humanly possible, without getting pulled over by a cop.

Act 4, Scene 1:

Mother and children are all now home. She makes them all lunch.

Mother: I'm making everyone PB&J sandwiches. Do not argue with me, do not ask me for anything else. Got it??

Children silently eat their sandwiches. Mother collapses into the rocking chair and zones out. After the children are done eating, Mother gives sick child his nebulizer treatment. She wrestles him to the ground, picks him up on her lap, and forces the mask over his nose and mouth, as he cries and fights with her. Mother explains to sick child that this will help him breathe better. Sick child stops fighting after 1 minute when he realizes he's able to breathe better. Child #3 keeps coming over and shutting off the nebulizer. Mother promises Child #1 and Child #2 a special treat if they can keep Child #3 occupied for the next few minutes. Mother is silently panicking as she realizes she has no clue what she's going to give Child #1 and Child #2 as a "special treat".

Act 5, Scene 1:

Mother puts sick child and Child #3 down for a nap. She puts on a DVD for Child #1 and #2. The phone rings and it's the dr, telling Mother that all is well with sick child but just to continue with nebulizer treatments, lots of fluid and rest. Mother lays down on the sofa and passes out.

=======================

The audience gives the Mother a standing ovation. She has earned it. As 2 women walk out of the theater after the play, one of them says to the other, "I better make sure I take my birth control pill tonight" and the other laughs and says, "Amen to that, sista friend".

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I have a headache and it has COLE written all over it...

On our way home from Costco, we passed a dog park that we drive by quite often. This is the conversation that took place as we passed the dog park.

Cole: Mommy, can I have a puppy?
Me: Not right now. Maybe when you're older.
Cole: Why can't I have one now?
Me: Because dogs are a lot of work.
Cole: But I don't want a dog...I want a puppy.
Me: Same thing. Puppies are baby dogs.
Cole: Well, how come I can't have one?
Me: I just told you. Dogs are a lot of work. You have to clean up their poop, feed them, groom them, and take them for walks. Do you plan on doing all that stuff? Cole: No, cuz I'm just a kid.
Me: And I already have you all to take care of so I can't do it either. When you're a little older, we'll start you off with a hamster and if you take good care of it, maybe we'll get you a dog.
Cole: A hamster??!! What's a hamster?? Do I like hamsters?
Me: Um...hmmmm....the best way to describe it is that it kinda looks like a mouse but it's bigger and has more fuzzy hair. Don't you remember seeing hamsters at PetSmart last time we were there?
Cole: Oh....so it's a mouse?
Me: No, a hamster is not a mouse. It just kind of looks like one. They're in the same animal family.
Cole: The same family? What are you talking about? Is a hamster like a dog? Can I have a dog?
Me: Mice and hamsters are very similar. Except hamsters are a lot cuter and people have them as pets. I had 2 hamsters when I was little. And no you cannot have a dog for the same reasons I already told you.
Cole: Mom, I don't want a mouse. What about a dog?
Me: (becoming increasingly frustrated) Cole, I said you can't have a dog right now. They require a lot of attention and we just don't have the time right now to devote to a dog. In a few more years, when you're a little older, we'll get you a hamster. And then if you can take good care of it, then maybe we can get a dog.
Cole: Okay......can I have a dog and then get a hamster?
Me: Are you even listening to me? I've just explained THREE times why we are NOT getting a dog right now.
Cole: Well, what other animal can I have?
Me: Nothing right now!
Cole: Not even a goldfish?
Me: No....nothing....nada....zilch. No goldfishes, no hamsters, no dogs...nothing!
Cole: What else can I have instead of a hamster?
Me: Nothing right now. Maybe when we're ready for another animal, we can get you a guinea pig instead of a hamster if you don't want a hamster.
Cole: Well, I think I like hamsters. What's a guinea pig?
Me: It's kind of like a rabbit.
Cole: But I don't want a rabbit. I guess I'll just have a mouse. Or a hermit crab? What about a hermit crab? I like hermit crabs. Or maybe a guinea pig....but I don't know what a guinea pig looks like. Maybe I'll like one but not as much as a dog. I think we should just get a dog. Okay, Mom? Why did you say we can't have a dog?
Me: (looking at Tim for rescue) Am I drunk? Is this conversation really happening? Do we have any Exedrin at home?

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's a bird, it's a plane...it's SUPER-BABY!

Daddy, I love it when you throw me high up into the air! Will you do it? Huh? Huh? Please?? Way up high?


Yeah, I know, I just ate dinner but I promise I won't puke on you.....this time. Pinky swear! Look into my big brown eyes...would I lie to you?


Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! I'm getting some serious lift here! This is so cool! I'm King of the World...oh wait, I'm not on a giant ship. I'm Super-Baby!! Uh-oh...(burp)....I think I'm about to find out what chicken noodle soup tastes like the 2nd time around..


Whew!! Thank goodness, I managed to keep the soup down. But I think I might have pooped a little bit in my diaper....


Ahhh, what the heck.....I'm in no hurry. A little bit of poop never hurt anyone. More, Daddy, more....do it again....Please???? But this time, go higher!!! I can handle it! I may be just a 28-lb toddler but I can hang with the big guys.


Hahahahahaha!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!! Heeheeheeheee!! Soooooo much....


FFFUUUUNNNNN!!! Ugh....oh no.....Um, Daddy???


I think you better change my diaper now.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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