Tuesday, December 25, 2012

In Which I Relax With My Family

Today was such a great day!  Not in a riding roller-coasters, dancing and drinking champagne kind-of way.  But in a chilling out with my family kind of way. 
Dalton (who is nine) is off staying with my Aunt, so the house is unusually calm and quiet, even with 3 other children present!  Lol!  I spent yesterday putting together lasagna, and my sister made cake and salad, and she and her Beloved Hub came this morning (we haven't seen each-other in quite some time) and played with babies, ate, and talked all day.  The babies warmed back up to her pretty quickly.  When it's been awhile it takes them a few minutes, but I swear they know her now and it doesn't take long for them to be all over her, begging for snuggles and attention.  She read them books, did "piggies," and all that good stuff babies like.  We watched them jump in Aila's crib for the longest time, they both use it like it's a trampoline.  We fed them and cleaned them up and all of us went to the park and took them for a walk and watched them play on the playground equipment.  We all jumped and dove and climbed and did whatever it took to save the two of them from breaking their little necks, which they seemed DETERMINED to do.  Weston kept trying to see what kind of noise he could make if he banged his head into the metal poles that held up the equipment, and Aila kept trying to walk off the steps at full speed.  There was a lot of gasping and grabbing and going "NO!" But with four adults all working together, they not only survived, they had a great time playing. 
We came back to the house and fed them a snack of bananas and cheese and juice, and then watched them run around the living room acting crazy, meowing at the cat, standing on their heads, etc...  Then Brenna my 16 yr old) got a sheet and played with the twins under it as if it were a tent.  They giggled their little heads off and it was quite adorable, if I do say so myself.  By the time my sister had to leave, they were worn out and ready for bed. 
Brenna and I watched a movie together that I had recorded and now it's time for me to head to bed myself.  Just really enjoyed my day with my hubby and my sister and my kids, and now I'm just missing the one who's gone to his Auntie's house!  I sure do love my crazy house full of youngins! It's crowded and messy and loud, but there's a lot of love in here. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Well, it's happening again.  I've been feeling depressed, overwhelmed, angry at the world, etc... and just not felt like writing or doing anything else.  Looking back at my blog posts, I realize that the last time I felt that way for an extended period of time was about a month ago, for about a week.  If you know what I mean.  So that MAY have something to do with it.
I have issues with depression, which I am not shy about, but it's hard for me to write about on here or talk about in front of people I don't know very well.  You never know who "gets" it and who will just think you're a wack-job.  Of course, I kinda AM a wack-job, but you know what I mean.  Sometimes I just feel uncomfortable letting people know just how crazy I really am.  But then sometimes I think it might help other people if they are also kinda crazy and they read about my craziness and then they knew they were not alone in their nuttiness.  So I vascillate about whether or not to discuss it here.  I think part of it is PMS, part of it is just that the whole world SUCKS and that, like the bumper-stickers say, "If you're not outraged then you're not paying attention."  I also saw a snippet of an interview that David Lettermen recently did with Oprah where he discusses his own depression, and he said "It's like looking at the world with 20/20 vision." 
I have strong faith, and I have my beliefs about the future, but that doesn't make the PRESENT a whole lot easier.  This world is a horrible place where unimaginably horrible things happen and no one is really safe and secure ever at any given time.  You ever ride a ride at the fair or something and once it starts moving you realize it's really just too much for you to handle, you're terrified, and you just want OFF THE RIDE!?  And you start praying and praying that if you can just get off the ride without dying you'll never, ever get on one like it again?  That's kinda how I feel about life sometimes.  It's too much!  I'm not tough enough for this!  Please God, make it stop!!!!  And Tom Cruise can bite my hiney, cuz I'm here to say that when you take antidepressants, it takes the edge off that feeling.  All the problems are still there, but for some reason, you can DEAL with it better when your seratonin level is right and your brain chemicals are firing right.  At least, till PMS time rolls around and you get struck with it again.  :)  Gotta love PMS! Remember that song from West Side Story "I Enjoy Being A Girl?"  Well, that's a bunch of crap!
So anyway, enough about that for today, but that's what happens to me sometimes, and that's the way I've been feeling lately.  Just overwhelmed and sad.  But then, a couple of wonderful things happened, and now I'm feeling better.  First, I went to Walmart to buy myself a bottle of the cheapest possible wine, since I have recently discovered that a glass of wine, much like my meds, also takes the edge off!  So I get in the line with my purchase and the lady carded me.  I laughed my butt off, and I needed that.  The laughing improved my mood, if not the flattery!  Next, my sister texted me today, and informed me that she had dusted a live bat while she was cleaning a house, and it had flown around the room, and she had freaked out and was hiding in the bathroom while texting me.  My sister is usually not afraid of anything, and the thought of the bat taking off when she dusted it and also of her hiding in the bathroom for some reason sent me into a fit of giggles that lasted so long I started wheeze-laughing like Deputy Dog.  She could've gotten rabies and it really wasn't funny, but for some reason the mental image of it just had me dying!  Thirdly, my Aunt Marilyn took my son for a few days, and I will miss him badly, but now that's one less child around here for me to worry about for a few days, and that takes a little load of stress off.  Lastly, Brenna and I went to the 2$ movies tonight, which we haven't done in forever, and before the movie started a very annoying college girl and her mother had an extremely loud, obnoxious conversation RIGHT BEHIND US.  Everyone else in the theater was whispering their conversations, but these two just practically SCREAMED theirs, and you could tell it was because they were the kind of people who want you to know that a) the girl is in college and b) she has some friends.  So through this, Brenna and I came to know that the girl rides horses, lives in the creepiest building on campus, doesn't have any labs next semester, has two roommates named Katy and Veronica, and they are all taking a car trip to Michigan next year, and they plan to rent a car because by then Veronica will be 21.  Also, we learned that this girl snarfs popcorn like her bucket is the last one on earth, but we did not learn that from her SAYING it.  Anyway..... we were trying not to look at each-other and not to crack up laughing while they were talking to each-other SOOOO LOUDLY, but then the conversation went like this... Mom: So have you talked to Katy lately?  Girl: Why would I?  Mom: Because she's your roommate!  Girl:  Mama, that girl ain't never there exceptin to eat (insert chomps on popcorn here) and leave!  And, she's so LOUD.  I cain't stand how loud that girl is! 
At this point, Brenna and I are shaking all over and tears are running down our faces.  God forbid Katy be LOUD!  Why, THAT would be obnoxious!  And then, Mama chimed in with this gem...  "Well, you ain't exactly quiet yourself!"  At that point I was starting to snort and we had to get up and move to other seats way behind them cuz I was afraid they would beat us up when they realized we were laughing at them.  And not WITH them, mind you, we were laughing AT them. 
So anyway, the movie was stupid but just that little show was worth the 2$ all by itself.  Now I'm gonna take me some ibuprofen, have a glass of wine, and try to get a good night's sleep.  I think the funk is finally lifting!  At least till next month, at about this time.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

In Which The Kids Are Sick Adadgummedgain

Twins and I were waiting in the van for Dalton to get off the bus on Friday so we could go run some errands.  He jumped in and announced that his head hurt and that he couldn't wait to get home, put on some pajamas, and "rest my head."  I thought that was kind of a weird thing to say, but I wasn't too concerened.  A little later, while running the errands, he asked me, "Mom, what's the flu?"  I explained what it is and asked why he wanted to know.  "Cuz some of my friends at school are out cuz they have the flu."  Should've been clue number two, but it didn't register.  Then we picked up Brenna, and we all went home.  When we pulled into the driveway, Dalton said "I can't wait to go inside and run myself a nice hot bath.  I might even put a cold washcloth on my head to make it feel better."  Brenna turned to me, confused, and made a very rude and yet hilarious comment about him turning into a girl.  I STILL didn't think to check the kid's forehead.  He took his bath, wrapped himself in a giant blanket (and it was warmish!) and laid down on the sofa, and that's when I saw it.  Whenever he gets a fever, his eyes turn down even more than they normally do, and they sink back in his head.  Charles saw it at about the same time I did and said "Does he have a fever?"  Sure enough, he was burning up. 
I told him to go watch movies in his room and stay there so he'd be away from the babies.  They have had flu shots, but you know how it is, there's so many different strains, it seems like people always get it anyway.  And everyone in our house has taken turns being sick for the past month or so, so here we go again.  Also, the babies have had diarrhea for 2 days straight, but I'm telling myself they're just teething.  They get all pitiful when they've had an "episode," and they come to me wanting to be picked up.  I pick them up, and then get a whiff, or worse, feel something wet.  Twice now I've had to change my own clothes.  That's always fun. 
So today, we missed service (but everyone slept in till 11 and it felt great!) and we also had to cancel plans we had to go to someone's house for dinner.  Bren and I waited till the babies went to bed and snuck off to Target to look at things we want but can't afford and then to the frozen yogurt place to make sure we, and when I say "we" I mean of course I, don't waste away to nothing for the winter, cuz that would be unfortunate.  Brenna made jokes the whole time about how cool she is and how all her friends are probably so jealous, getting to hang out with her mom on a Saturday night at Target.  But I swear, to me there is nothing quite as fun as when the two of us are together and alone in the car and can sing along to the Shakira cd and imitate the parts where she sounds like a goat, the parts where she sounds like Kermit the Frog, and even imitate the guitar.  Or when we're walking through the store and we pass someone who's doing something (talking too loud on their cellphone, or some stupid teenage boy acting a fool to impress his friends, or a goth and highly unbathed couple looking at Twilight posters, etc...) and we don't even say a word, we just meet eyes and share our opinion via meeting of the minds.  It's so cool to have a younger, cuter, smarter, thinner, better-at-math version of myself to hang out with! 
Later, we'll watch SNL together and then quote the funny parts to each other for weeks.  Also, we both have that Raynaud's syndrome thingy where are feet and hands are always frozen from poor circulation.  So when we watch SNL together we will both try to stick our feet under the other's hiney for warmth.  It's a tradition. 
Behind me there are nasty, nasty high chairs and a nasty, nasty floor beneath them where earlier, while "eating" dinner, Aila decided to throw meatloaf, green beans, and pickled beets.  I am so sick of cleaning up those kinds of messes, I just left it there and went to Target.  Now I'm leaving it there and typing.  I should probably go clean it up.  *Sigh.*
So if you don't hear from me for a few days, it's because I'm back in sick kid land.  Checking temperatures, changing poo diapers, and stepping in pickled beets. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Which I Got Mad Skills Yo

Yesterday I was riding along in the van with the twins, and they were hungry, and I did my little trick of running through McDonalds and picking up some value fries, and then tossing them to the twins all the way in the back.  It occurred to me that not just anyone could do this, and I am now a near pro.  If it were an olympic event, I would win.  The twin's carseats are in the waaay back third row of the van, and I'm in the front driver's side (natch) and the trick is to throw the fry from one end so that it flies, end over end, right into the lap of the baby. Then they giggle, pick it up, and eat it.  They're only one, so if the fry goes too far to the right or left, or misses their lap, they can't retrieve it, so it requires some pretty good hand-eye coordination to accomplish, but it is possible.   And yes, I do this only at stoplights!  I often wonder what the people in the cars behind me think I'm doing. As I was doing this yesterday, I thought of my sister and her three, year- apart babies, and how she used to cram bits of peanut butter sandwich into their little mouths in the station wagon on their way to places.
Another skill I have acquired since having the twins is the superhuman strength needed to hold two massive babies at once.  At this point, Weston weighs just over 25lbs, Aila just over 20lbs.  But I can have one on each hip, and walk around holding them ok.  Which is not to say it feels great, because it doesn't, but it's much better than listening to screaming because somebody wants their mommy.  When I go to bed at night, my spine sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies, cuz it's all "Snap, Crackle, and Pop!"  But I can do it, and I often do. 
Also, whipping up a meal for tiny hungry people. I'm pretty sure at this point I can make four slices of french toast and two scrambled eggs with cheese in a matter of seconds, with one arm tied behind my back, AND blindfolded.  Anything they like to eat, I've mastered it, in record time. 
The other mommy skill I have whipped is DIAPERS.  The other day, I had a record of 7 poopy diapers all in one day.  Weston 4, Aila 3.  Today so far, there have been 3.  You would not BELIEVE the amount of poo that can come out of two very healthy eating one-year olds.  Also, how much you can tell about how healthy they eat FROM their poo.  There's corn, there's kale, there's definite blueberry!  And Aila's love for cherry tomatoes is quite evident.  It's lovely.  Everytime I think it's over with for awhile cuz I just changed one, one of them walks by and I get a whiff. 
I can bathe them from head to toe in seconds flat.  They're used to it, they don't even mind me pouring the water over their heads to wash and rinse their hair, it doesn't faze them.  Also dressing them.  Didja read that funny viral post about dressing a baby being like trying to get a live squid in a string bag with no arms hanging out?  That's EXACTLY what it's like, but I've discovered the secret.  Weston will be still if you hand him a shoe to hold.  Especially one with laces.  Aila will be still if you hand her a hairbrush and tell her to brush her hair and make it pretty.  I can get myself and the two babies dressed,  and the diaper bag packed with cups of warm milk etc.. and get four kids in the car and buckled in ALL in the time it takes my husband to dress himself.  I am the master.  I am Supermom.  And we're usually ONLY about 15 minutes late!  Lol!
I can also push a cart with one baby in it while holding the other on my hip, get a double stroller with two babies in it down stairs, open my own doors while pushing the double stroller,  load the van with two babies, the groceries I just got, AND put the double stroller back in the van all by myself.
I hear a lot of "Wow!" and "Well, you've sure got your hands full!" and "How do you do all that?"  When I'm out and about with the twins.  I enjoy the praise, but the truth is, anybody could do it if they HAD to.  It's not easy and it takes a little muscle and planning and ingenuity, but it can be done.   So for all the moms out there, and especially the ones who had tiny ones right in a row, or the ones like my cousin and I who did it two at a time, We are women, hear us roar!  We have skills we didn't even know we had.  And if the olympics ever comes out with a poo cleaning event, I'll see you guys there!

Monday, December 3, 2012

In Which I Have Nightmares

It's time for bed, but I'm procrastinating.  Play one more video game, write something on my blog, whatever.  I really NEED my sleep since I've been chasing twins all day today, and tomorrow I'm gonna get up and chase twins all day AGAIN, but I'm putting it off.  Putting off going to bed because I'm still nervous from last night, during which, at about 2am, when I was asleep, I heard my husband gasp in a horrible way, so I woke up and rolled over to check on him, and about that time, he screamed "HEEEEYYY!"  in his maddest possible voice.  I woke him up asking "What's wrong?  What's wrong?"  He was just having a nightmare.  People were attacking him, and he was frozen, and he thought if he could yell at them loud enough, it would scare them away.  I'm sure "HEY!"  wouldn't scare off would-be attackers, probably not even dream ones, but it sure scared the poop out of me!  He never does that.  I'm the one who has nightmares and talks in my sleep and screams in my sleep and all that stuff.  It took hours for my adrenaline to quit surging so I could fall back asleep.  *Shudder.*

I myself have been having really bad nightmares lately, and so has Brenna.  We dream about people in our family getting shot, or killed in some other horrible way.  We dream about tornadoes coming and smashing us and our family to bits.  We have horrible ones about Charles in particular, I think because the two of us watched him have the seizure the day he flatlined before he got his pacemaker.  I honestly think Bren and I both have a mild case of PTSD from that little episode. 

Sometimes I have nightmares that no one wants to be friends with me anymore.  Or that I'm at a convention and I can't find my family.  Sometimes I'm in a crowded movie theater, and it's very dark, and I'm looking for whoever I'm supposed to be meeting, but every time I think it's them and walk up and start to sit down, the face turns around and it's someone scary.

But my favorite nightmares are the ones about peeing.  I have them all the time.  I'm really not sure WHY, except maybe I really need to wake up and go to the bathroom.  I'll be in a place full of people, and the signs will say that this is the restroom, but I'll go in there and there are no walls, no stalls, nothing.  And what's purported to be the commode will be something like and upholstered chair, with no hole in it or anything.  And I'll be aruguing with people "But this is not a toilet!  But everyone can see me!  I really have to go!  Where's the real toilet?"  But people will convince me to pee on a chair with upholstery and no walls around it with all kinds of people watching me, and I'm the most horrible kind of mortified.

It would be nice to understand WHY I dream these things and how to make all dreams good ones.  I guess I'll just go on to bed and hope that tonight I have the ones with the giant houses that I've inherited, or the ones where I'm flying, or the ones where I'm running naked and happy through fields full of fruit trees or down beautiful beaches. Those may be weird, but they're my happy ones, and they're infinitely preferable to the ones where my teeth shatter and fall out, or I pee in a chair in the middle of a mall.  Anyone else have this kind of weirdness in their subconscious?  Please say yes!

Monday, November 26, 2012

In Which Christmas Gets On My Last Nerve

Well, tis the stinking season!  I know I don't celebrate Christmas for religious reasons, but I'm telling you, I honestly believe that if the holiday were central to my religious beliefs there are some things about it that I would still just LOATHE. 
Item 1:  Those dadblasted Salvation Army bell ringers. 
For goodness sake, they are EVERYWHERE!!!  Now say, hypothetically, that one WAS a celebrator of the Christmas holiday, and one had to go out Christmas shopping.  One would never, I'm assuming, find all the presents in one place, so one would have to travel from store to store, and at all of said stores, would be accosted by the bell ringers.  Flailing about with their obnoxious bells, screaming their little greetings of things like the one I heard today at Walmart, which was "Merrr Christmas!"  (there was no y on the end of merry!) So what's the etiquette rule on stuff like that?  If you give to the one in front of the door at Walmart, do you have to give to the one at the door at Kmart?  And what about Target?  Since I myself do not celebrate the holiday and do not wish to give to their cause, I find myself avoiding eye contact and trying to dodge in and out of stores unnoticed.  But I imagine that even those who do celebrate the holiday and wish to give SOMETIMES still do not want to be accosted with the bells and screamed greetings ALL THE TIME.
Item 2:  The "Christmas Spirit."  Now I'm no expert, obviously, but from what I can tell, the "Christmas spirit" entails fighting over socks in department stores, or fighting over parking spaces in malls, and stealing whenever anyone isn't watching their purse carefully enough.  I personally do not care for what I have seen of the Christmas spirit.  In fact, I can never wait for the holidays to be over so that people's "spirit" can get a little calmer and go back to normal.
Item 3:  The worms that crawl into ones brain and lay eggs there which turn into larvae which thereafter turn into more worms that never, ever get out of your brain that are also known as Christmas Carols. 
Why, WHY are these particular songs so catchy???  I have never celebrated the holiday in my entire life.  How I know the words to all these songs is completely beyond me.  But I can be in a store and hear a little snippet of one, and I swear to you, it will be days, DAYS I TELL YOU, before I can get it out of my head.  In my Jr. High French class, the teacher taught the other kids one French Christmas carol.  I learned it by osmosis, just sitting there in the room, doing other work while they learned it.  In fact, to my recollection, I was one of the FIRST kids to learn all the words.  The kids who actually practiced the song and celebrated the holiday had a much harder time with it than I did.  Well, the music to that particular song is now featured, without lyrics, in a commercial for Biltmore Estate.  This class I took was um, about 25 years ago.  I never sang the durn song.  And yet, after that commercial runs, I sit around for hours with the words running through my head "Ah flambeau Jeanette Isabella....le Christ et nee, Mary appelle...Ah, ah, que le mere et belle!  Ah, ah, ah que l'enfant et beau!"  IN FRENCH!!!!  Even the stupid carol in a language I DO NOT REALLY KNOW will not get out of my head! AAAARRRRGH!!!!
Ok, well, I'm done venting now.  I'm gonna go off to bed now and try to not hear the Salvation Army bells and the Christmas Carols in my head.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In Which I Am Out of School, So Why Do I Have To Do Homework Dadgummit?

I hate homework.  I hated homework while I was in school.  I frequently, in fact, did not DO my homework while I was in school, and instead waited until I was in the class before the class I had to turn in the homework for, and would hastily make an attempt at doing the homework without the teacher in the class I was currently in catching me.  And because I was doing homework for another class while in THAT class, I would proceed to make horrible grades for THAT class, because I hadn't been paying attention or doing my work in that class, I had been doing homework for the next class.  Because that's the kind of organized, motivated, super a-plus kind of student I was.  Now if it happened to be that I was in a class like Theater Arts, Music Appreciation, or Creative Writing, which I happened to love, THEN I would pay attention, and I would work hard.  But if the class was something pertaining to, oh, I don't know, Biology or Math of any sort, I was going to have my brain shut off while I was in there anyway, so there was really no point in me even taking up space in their desks.
I also hated projects.  And I would remember that I had one on like the night before it was due at about 9:30pm, and then go crying about it to my mother. 
My most vivid project memory was when we were supposed to do a science project.  I had a friend, Jennifer, who lived up the street from me.  She was the type of person who wrote everything out in neat handwriting, then typed it, then put the typed pages in a little fancy folder so it looked like something important, and started on things way, way, way before they were due.  She always got a's and she ended up going to Duke University.  She was my closest friend at school, which was funny, because we were so opposite in a lot of ways.  I was the type of person who scribbled out my reports on paper out of a ringed notebook that had to be ripped out and had all the messy edges and looked like a piece of trash.  And I never started anything until the very, very last minute. 
So one year, we had a science project, and it could be on almost anything, but it had to glow under a UV light because they were gonna make a cool display in the school window.  Jennifer worked for about a month on a highly detailed cross-section of a cell.  I waited till the night before, and I took a piece of plywood and spray painted it black.  Then I took some glow-in-the-dark paint I had bought in order to make paint blotches on a white pair of Keds I liked to wear, and I poured the orange glow-in-the-dark paint onto a round styrofoam ball like you use to put flowers in that I had made my mom drive me to Hungates to pick up at about 9pm.  There wasn't enough paint to cover the whole thing, so the back was all white, and I was too stupid to think to cut across the styrofoam ball to make it flat on one side to lay on the board.  I just used super-glue to glue down the white side onto the black spraypainted plywood.  And then I wrote "Mars" underneath it.  "Mars" came unglued and rolled down my driveway the next morning, and by the time I got it to school, it was caked in gravel, which I had to try to shake off before I attempted to re-glue it to the board.  Jennifer laughed like crazy at me and my pathetic project.  She laughed until our grades came back and she had made an A plus, and I had made an A minus.  Then I laughed like crazy.
Anyway, the point of all this is that I hate homework and school, and schoolwork, and projects, and I certainly didn't wanna start having to do them for my kids when THEY went to school, and yet here I sit, with a piece of paper Dalton brought to me saying "You have to fill this out by tomorrow!"  Where I have to answer the following questions: 1) What is the question being studied?  2) State the hypothesis, problem, or engineering goals.  (Ok, I just PUT a period there, because it is a statement, but on the actual sheet from the school, they finish off the previous statement with a dadgummed QUESTION MARK, yet I'M the one who didn't pay attention in school!)  3) Detailed description of methods/procedures to be used; type of data to be collected, how data will be analyzed.  4) Bibliography/References (include at least 3 sources)  Then last, it says "I agree to assist the student in completing a project for the Science Fair." and there's a space for me to sign my name. 
Well, NO, I do not agree to help the student.  I don't WANT to do a project for the science fair!  And yet, on a previous page, I was informed that it is REQUIRED, so I guess you've got me over a barrel, now don't you, school people?  Furthermore, what kind or REFERENCES am I supposed to have for a science fair project?  Dalton was gonna do one about toy cars with weights and how fast they go depending on how weighted, etc...but where are there REFERENCES to that? 
I HATE stuff like this, and it seems like there's more and more of it, where the parents have to do the work for the students.  I don't wanna do the work.  I graduated.  I have four children to look after, and I'm busy, and I don't CARE about weighted cars or what happens if you mix chemicals. 
I think I'm gonna spraypaint a ball orange and super-glue that crap on a piece of plywood.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In Which I Have Nothing to Say

I am having a severe case of the blues, the blahs, and the all-around writer's block.  Just wanted to explain my absence and to apologize to anyone who has perhaps come to this site looking for a new post for like, the last couple weeks or so, and found na-da.  I hate it when I go to people's blogs to see what's new in their lives and there's nothing for days and days....but sometimes there's just nothing you feel like writing about, and this is one of those times! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In Which I Let My Nutty Son Have His Own Blog

So most of you probably know by now that Dalton has his own blog.  He is just in seventh heaven, runs in from school wanting to write on it, checks it periodically for comments and to see the counter that tells him how many people have read it.  I think he thinks he's famous now.  What I really, really like about it is that the typing keeps him busy and quiet for an extended period of time!!! Thanks to everyone for reading it and leaving him comments, he's thrilled beyond words.
Other news for today:  The babies are never, ever going to get over this cold.  They keep sneezing and their little noses are so red from all the boogers!  Aila couldn't even drink her milk this morning because she couldn't breathe through her nose, so she'd take a couple of sips and then run out of breath and pull her sippy cup out of her mouth and pant for a little bit and then take a few more sips.  It was pitiful!  The good thing is, they act like they don't feel horribly badly.  They still laugh and play.  But they just spend an awful lot of time wanting to lay on me and suck their fingers, and fighting over who gets my lap, and then grinning and snuggling under their covers like they're very happy to be there when I put them in bed for a nap.  I have never seen babies who love their beds quite as much as those two.
The thing they seem to enjoy the most since they've been sick is a nice hot bath.  I've been making their baths warmer and deeper since they've been sick, and they sorta flop over in the water like they're about to swim and get their whole bodies in there...I guess the warm water feels good and the steam helps their congestion.  Tonight, our goober cat who has always, always, since he was a kitten loved the water jumped in the bath with them and played in it.  The cat was walking around in there, pawing at their bath toys, drinking a little of their bathwater (ew!) and Weston was watching his every move, grinning his head off and screaming "TIDDY!"  Aila was leaning over and laying her head on the cat and making her little "Ohhh" noise she makes when she's giving a hug.  It was all adorable except for the constant stream of boogers I was having to wipe off everyone's noses with a warm washcloth!  I'm so ready for everyone to get well, and scared to death I'm going to get it myself once they're feeling better! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

In Which My Son Wants Me To Read His Journal

I am so confused by my son.  When I was a kid, I always kept a journal, and it was of utmost importance to me that my mother never read it.  This was so important to me, in fact, that I went to all kinds of trouble to ensure she never read it.  I hid it in my closet, and she found it.  I hid it in a drawer underneath a bunch of other stuff, and she found it.  She would say little things to let me know, without coming right out and saying it, that she had read it, and that she KNEW things.  Things she could not possibly have known, had she not read my journal.  More than once, she said a little something like that, just to let me know, and I grew so afraid and freaked out that she had read my private thoughts, I remember the hairs ACTUALLY standing up on the back of my neck.  I started keeping my journal locked in my locker at school, but then a friend who knew my locker combination went in there and read it.  Eventually I learned that if you really want to keep your private thoughts private, don't write them down.  Anywhere. 
I swore to myself that when I had children, I wouldn't search their rooms for their journals, and even if they had one and left it right out where I could see it, I would not read it. 
But then there's my almost 9-yr old son, Dalton.  He WANTS me to read his journal.  He ASKS me to read it.  His grandparents just sent him a journal with a lock and key on it, so that no one could get in, and he wrote in it, and then promptly brought it before our entire family and had his father, sister and I GUESS what he had written in it, and then told us when we were right or wrong.  I love that he's so open and feels that he can share anything with us.  But then again, sometimes I am absolutely flabbergasted by the things that I read, and the fact that he doesn't have the good sense to know he ought to be at least a little embarrassed.  He writes about a girl at school whom he has nicknamed "Twinklepuff," and how he thinks she likes him because she calls him "MR. Twinklepuff."  He writes about how he rode his bike outside until he "definetely had hypothermia."  He writes all kinds of crazy, funny, sometimes intensely personal things, some of which I won't even quote because even though HE's not embarrassed for everyone to know them, I AM!  I don't know, maybe he's just like me.  I blog about my most embarrassing moments, maybe he's just doing the same thing.  Come to think of it, one day Dalton will discover blogging, and if he hasn't learned to keep a little to himself, one day the whole world will be able to read about whatever rotten and horrible he did that day.  Better yet, one day he'll probably be blogging about ME, old and frail and in a nursing home, and it'll be stuff like "Today, my mom peed all over herself again..."  *Sigh.* 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

In Which I Get Attached To People I've Never Met

A couple weeks ago, it was Whitney Heichel.  I was sad when I read about her on the news and had no idea she was one of Jehovah's Witnesses.  I was hoping they would find her, but thinking it hardly seemed likely.  I was thinking how pretty she was and how adorable her husband was and how cute and happy they looked together.  Then I read on facebook that she was one of Jehovah's Witnesses.  All the sudden, it's different.  She's one of ours!  If I lived where she did, she'd be my friend and I'd work with her in service and I'd have been at her wedding and bridal shower.  It's just amazing how much it really affects (did I do it right this time?) us when we find out something has happened to one of us.  We call each-other brother and sister, and you don't realize just how true those terms are.  So you read about something like that, and then you find out it's your sister, and suddenly the stakes are so much higher, and you feel like you know her, and her mom personally, even though you really don't.  Then the bad news starts rolling in and I'm crying reading the news online, and then I'm crying reading the posts her friends and family made on facebook.  Then I'm crying looking through the photos from her funeral and seeing all the friends, in a Kingdom Hall, dealing with the loss.  I'm thinking that I'm gonna just have to quit looking at the pictures and reading about it all because it's just making me sad and I don't actually know her or her family, and there's no use being sad for someone I don't know when there are so many people to be sad for that I DO actually know. 
About that time, I start reading about the little two year old boy with the spiky hair and the adorable grin who loves Lightning McQueen and got hit in the head by a large tree limb when Sandy was coming through Georgia.  And then I find out that his family is in the same congregation with my cousin and also an old friend, and they are hurting about it because they're watching his family hurting about it.  And the little boy's parents are also Witnesses, and once again, he's not just an adorable little two year-old boy, he's one of ours.  If his family were in my congregation, his mom and I would be stuck in the mother's room together with our children.  He's not just any kid, he's family.  Now I'm checking for updates several times a day to see if he's still hanging on, and how he's doing, and worrying cuz tonight, they're gonna try to slowly take him out of his medically induced coma, and his mommy's a nervous wreck about it.  So I'm a nervous wreck about it too.  I hope it helps somehow to have the prayers and support of thousands of brothers and sisters who don't actually know you.  I wish I could DO something for his family.  But there's only one thing I can do for them, so I'll be praying for little Tripp Halstead and for his parents and his family.  Hoping that everything turns out ok for them, and that if it doesn't, they'll have the strength to endure. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

In Which I Have A Parent/Teacher Conference

Had a parent/teacher conference with Dalton's teacher yesterday.  I was a nervous wreck, as we had gotten a lot of emails from her early in the year about difficulties she was having with him. 
Got there, and she had another parent in the room with her, so I had to wait my turn in the hallway.  There was a large bulletin board on the hallway wall with tacked up books some of the kids in his class had made about geography, explaining what a mesa, plains, mountains, and valleys and stuff are.  I found Dalton's and started reading.  There were factual components, such as "a mesa is a mountain with a flat top." But there were also very Daltonesque parts throughout his little book.  "Mountains are not really pointy,  that's just the way you draw them."  "Some people think valleys are called valleys because they look like little 'vs.'"  Or how about this one "A canyon is really nothing but a ridiculously large hole in the ground."  And then there was my absolute favorite, "The plains are also called flatlands, because there is really nothing there to see.  Except in movies and on tv, often you will find cruel people in saloons."  When I read that one, I actually snorted! 
Anyway, finally got in to see the teacher, and she said that although they got off to a rocky start at the beginning of the year, she now loves having Dalton in her class, says he has vastly improved.  She said she's found that what he needs more than anything is to continue to be challenged, and she said she has found it best to have him help other students, which keeps him busy.  She also said she would not be suprised at all if he grows up to be a writer, and she is not the first of his teachers to tell me that.  Although, I don't really know what genre he would specialize in, because do you classify it as fiction or nonfiction when someone writes that in the movies, flatlands have cruel people in saloons?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

In Which I Have Two Sick Babies

Haven't written on here in quite some time.  Been pretty darn busy and my mind has been elsewhere.  Both the twins were acting very strange, just really grumpy and nothing making them happy, and wanting to sleep all the time.  Then on Tuesday afternoon, as I was telling Charles about how weird they'd been acting, we each noticed that the baby we were holding had a rather warm forehead.  They got warmer and warmer till bedtime, and just wanted to lay there, glassy-eyed, not moving, on our laps.  Finally took a temp and it was about 101.  The next morning they no longer felt warm, but they still acted grumpy and fatigued pretty much all day.  Auntie Marilyn came to the rescue and came and helped me hold and feed and bathe and all that good stuff, even stayed overnight to help me, which was wonderful.  Especially wonderful to Weston, who is completely enamored with her and her little songs she sings, and the way she does his "piggies," etc...  Aila is more reserved, as always.  But she sat very still on Marilyn's lap this morning in her litle polka-dot pajamas, stone-faced, while Marilyn poked all her dots and said "Polka-dot, polka-dot, polka-dot.." etc...  No smile, no facial movement at ALL out of Aila.  But the second Marilyn stopped, Aila grabbed her hand and put it to her pajamas as if to say "Do it again."  She may not have smiled, but she clearly liked it.  Then Weston got jealous and Marilyn had to poke the dinosaurs on HIS pajamas and say "Dinosaur, dinosaur, dinosaur..." 
The babies did finally seem to have their appetite back today, and were thrilled when I made them a big plate of cut-up, syrupless french toast.  Aila grabbed two pieces, one for each hand, so Weston grabbed the hand she wasn't eating out of and stuck it in his own mouth. 
Also new around here, Weston following the cat around yelling "Tiddy!!!"  (Kitty, in case you were wondering.)  It's pretty darn cute. 
I'm wiped out and don't have any interesting things to write about, other than watching my poor sick babies, so, oh well.  Maybe soon.  I'm gonna try to load a video I took of them Wednesday when they were feeling horrible but being very sweet to each-other.  I already put it on facebook, but I'll put it here too, because I just think it's the sweetest thing.  I've watched it about 50 times myself already!  Hope it'll load...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

In Which 9 yr old Boys Irritate the Snot Out Of Me

Can we talk for a moment about how irritating 9 year old boys are?  It's MY blog, so of course we can!  :)  9 yr old boys are THE WORST. 
I first discovered this when my brother turned 9.  His teeth grew fuzz. He smelled horrible.  A mixture of boy-child wet puppy smell and adult body odor.  He wore stupid stuff trying to look cool,  like parachute pants and calculator watches.  Everything about him made me kind of want to throw up.  I was only 3 years older, so it wasn't like I was an adult or anything, but even I could see this weird changing time from boy to adolescent, and it wasn't pretty.  About the time he hit 13 or 14, he suddenly became very likable and not so gross, so I guess it was that weird age range of pre-teen. 
Next was my cousin, who we'll call "Z" to protect the guilty. You wanna talk about some fuzzy teeth?!  Z had the fuzziest teeth ever.  You know how 9 year olds have those GIANT front teeth that are way too big for their heads?  Why is it that God made it so that right when their teeth are THAT HUGE is the same time they decide there's no need to brush?  Once again, after a few more years, he became fun to be around again, and grew into his teeth, and started to brush them. 
After I was an adult, another cousin and HIS cousin, both of whom I was around a lot, turned 9 at the same time.  I kinda remembered that it was a gross age from my previous experience, but these two made it perfectly clear to me that it was something about this particular age....  We'll call them "G" and "J."  J's mom brought him over for me to babysit.  I liked kids, and thought this would be fine.  I had a metronome, those little "tick-tock" devices that one uses to count off beats when you're playing music.  Well J found it, almost immediately, and had to play with it.  It wasn't a toy, and it was kind of expensive.  But I let him anyway, cuz it kept him quiet.  So this is what I heard "Tick----tock-----tick------tock------tick---"  He had it set on a slow time.  Then he messed with the weight that made it change speeds "Ticktockticktockticktockticktock" on and on and on and on and on until I couldn't stand it anymore.  "J, do not play with that anymore.  Turn it off."  I said.  He looked at me, and grinned a sly devil grin, showing his giant fuzzy teeth.  "J, I said DO NOT DO IT AGAIN."  He flicked it, "TICKTOCK!"  and laughed.  He just HAD to do it one more time, to show me who was boss. 
G would argue incessantly with his Mama, because he was 9 and therefore knew everything.  We were outside, and a baby in the family threw up or something and got stuff everywhere.  "G, run to the car please and get me the baby wipes." said his mother.  "Why?" said G.  "Because the baby threw up and we need it!  GO!"  "Uh!  Why do I have to go get it?!" 
Another time, we were at his house, my mom and I, while his mother was gone.  He was skateboarding across his kitchen, and I am not making this up, on his knees.  Whamming into the cabinets, scraping up the floor, falling off and rolling around.  My  mom said to him "G, please stop doing that, you're gonna get hurt."  "But WHY?!  I'm not gonna get hurt, I'm fine!  I'm just...."  I couldn't take it anymore "GET OFF THE SKATEBOARD BECAUSE SHE SAID TO DO IT AND SHE'S OLDER THAN YOU AND IF SHE SAYS NOT TO, DON'T DO IT!!!"  "Whatever!" he said, and then he was sad cuz I had yelled at him, and I felt horrible because I had yelled at him.  I had loved this kid to pieces and held him and played with him since he was a tiny baby, and now he was getting on my last nerve.  And do you know why?  BECAUSE HE WAS NINE! 
Nine year old boys (and I'm sure it's true of girls as well, but for some reason they don't bother me quite as badly) start getting hormones.  They have a weird smell, and then they don't want to bathe.  They think they know EVERYTHING, and there is no reasoning with them.  They feel grown-up, so they get all "You're stupid and I know more than you" and "I look cool in my navy blue tie with my black suit, and don't tell me what to do!"  You could LITERALLY tell a 9 year old boy the sky was blue and they would argue "Actually it's kind of a periwinkle" or whatever, trying to show off their advanced knowledge.  Their teeth are too big for their heads, but they don't want to brush them.  They talk back to their moms, because they're growing up and they're testing their boundaries.  They're too big for toys, so instead they want to hang around and hear all the adult conversation.  But they hang around DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH YOUR BUTT-CHEEKS and they overhear everything you don't want them to hear, and then quote it at inopportune times.  "My mom told my dad they can't make the mortgage payment this month, so we may have to move." or other stuff like that.  You say "Stop!" and they keep on going, you say "STOP" in a more forceful way, and they continue doing what they're doing, at least one more time, just so you know you don't really have control over them, because, after all, you're an idiot and they are all-knowing.  Then, when you completely lose your mind and yell and get really, really angry....they cry their eye-balls out and ask why you don't love them anymore  and want to hug you, because they're really just 9 years old, and they're still (despite what their hormones are telling them) just a little kid, and they don't really MEAN to be bad.  And then you try to comfort them by giving them the hug they so desperately need, but dadgummit their breath smells like something died in their esophagus and their body odor is so puppy-doggish and pungent, and it's everything you can do to not gag. 
So, this is all my way of telling you that right now, I have a very-close-to-nine-year-old boy.  He is reminding me very much of my brother and cousins lately.  He has been the light of my life, and I find him brilliant and amazing and funny, and when I'm not desperately trying to pay attention to my 1 yr old twins, I love to hear all the weird things he has to say.  But he is a nine year old boy, and he is making me tired.  And right now I can't wait for another few years to pass when he becomes your garden-variety teenager, and I can enjoy being around him more fully.  (notice the careful wording!) So if you're the mother of a nine year old boy, or have ever had one, and you have experienced any of these things as well, feel free to comment, so I don't feel like I am all alone in my traumatic 9-yr-old experiences. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

In Which I Fret Over Vaccinations

Tomorrow is vaccine day, the twins get the infamous MMR shot that all the controversy swirls around.  I tried to do a little research, to see if I had reason to worry or to try to fight it.  Apparently, the Moms of a lot of kids with autism swear that the symptoms coincided with their child getting this shot.  While Dr.s swear it has nothing to do with it, and have done a bunch of studies and found nothing to prove it.  Meanwhile, even in countries such as Japan where they've changed the protocol and now give the vaccine in several doses, autism rates continue to rise. 
So If I allow the shots to be given, are my children going to suddenly develop autism, leading me to spend the rest of my days hating myself for my mistake?  Or if I refuse the shots, are my children going to get measels, mumps, or rubella, possibly die from these diseases, or cause someone else to get sick? 
Feeling very caught between the proverbial rock and hard place and like I'll be a bad mother no matter what I do.  NOT LIKING THIS.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In Which I Hate Math

Got an email from Dalton's teacher tonight saying that he's been having trouble with word problems in math, and she thinks I oughtta practice them with him at home.
Those of you who really know me know just how funny that is.  That's like if she asked Charles to work with him on doing things faster.  It's like if she asked Steven Hawking to work with him on his jogging skills.  Math is not just something I hate, it's something I simply cannot do.
I have had this problem since I was a little kid.  I guess nobody noticed it till I got older.  The first big clue was when I in 7th grade math class, and we were learning geometry, and the teacher talked for  a week about parallel planes.  After about the 3rd day, I was wondering why we kept discussing this subject, I thought it was just the same word problem that we'd been going over for days, and, stupidly, I raised my hand.  "Ms. Packard, I just don't get it.  We've been talking about parallel planes for 3 days now, and I mean, really, just how often is it an issue that 2 planes are flying side by side?  Why do we keep talking about this?"  There was a loooonnnng pause and a lot of confused faces as people tried to figure out if I was serious.  Then there was BOOMING laughter, and that was just from the teacher.  I was looking around at everyone as they rolled around in their chairs laughing going "What?  WHAT??!!" mad that they were laughing at me and not understanding why.  Ms. Packard told it in the teacher's lounge, and it became the stuff of legend.  Teachers I barely knew made jokes about it to me.  Sigh.
A few years later, I'm an older teenager, I forget how old, 17 or so, and I'm in the store with my mother. There's something I'm considering buying, and the sign said "5 for a dollar."  I'm staring at it going, "Ok, I know that 4 quarters is a dollar, and each quarter is 25 cents, but if they are 5 for a dollar, how much is one?"  I stood there thinking, trying to picture the math problem in my head, trying to divide....Mom saw the look on my face (gears turning) and said "What?" and I said it, out loud.  Worst mistake EVER.  "Well, these are 5 for a dollar, but I only want one, so how much would one be?"  She's like "Shelly, come ON.  If they're 5 for a dollar, one would be.....???..." and stared at me like it should just "bing" into my head any second.  It didn't.  She finally had to tell me.  I know how much one would be now, but frankly, only because she told that story so many times, the answer got drilled into my brain.  I can't just figure it out like a normal person.
I also can't tell time on a regular clock.  It's related, apparently it's all on the same side of your brain.  Whereas a normal person might see 12:42, for example, I see 3 minutes till 15 minutes till 1.  It's not that I don't KNOW what time it is, it's just that I can't say it.  Unless it's on the quarter hour, in which case I can verbalize it ok.  Otherwise people will ask me "Could you tell me what time it is?"  And I have to stare at my watch going "Ummmm...."  While I figure out how to say 4:26 instead of 4 minutes till 30 minutes after 4. 
There is also my issue with left and right.  And by issue, I mean, I can't tell them apart.  I have to envision myself  "writing" with my "right" hand.  Or hold them up to see which one makes an L for "left."  I'm 41, it's humiliating.
 When I was 19, I stopped to get gas one day.  My family can stop reading now, cuz they've all heard AND told this one a million times!  Anyway, I pulled my car up to the gas pump, and got out.  But when I got out I realized my tank was on the other side.  I got back in my car, started it up, and drove around to the next pump.  I got out, looked for the tank, and realized it was still on the other side.  I got back in my car, started it BACK up, pulled around a couple pumps down and hopped out again....it was STILL on the wrong side!  I was late to get somewhere and I was getting very frustrated!  So I tried AGAIN.  Suffice it to say, this went on for a good solid 3 minutes until finally I was sobbing in frustration and embarrassment, and the gas station attendant came out of the station, crying himself (from laughter, and I am not making this up) and said, through his giggles and tears, while wiping his eyes, "Maam, if you get back in your car, I will direct you around to the pump where the tank will be on the correct side, I promise!"  and he did.  That remains one of my top 5 most embarrassing moments in all of my 41 years of life, and I've done a lot of embarrassing things, so that's really saying something. 
It's just irritating to me, because I think I'm a relatively smart girl, but this math stuff that everyone else can do just fine, my brain just shuts down and CANNOT and WILL NOT do it.  Thank goodness for calculators, is all I can say.
So, anyway, I don't think I'm gonna be helping Dalton with word problems any time soon.  Particularly not if it's a word problem about those pesky parallel flying airplanes! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In Which the Twins Turn One

Tommorow morning, the twins will be one year old.  Last year at this time, I was trying my best to prepare to go the hospital in the morning to have my twins cut out of my belly.  My sister was here, and Brenna, Betsy and I stayed up late laughing and joking, and making videos of us being silly for the babies.  I was scared to death, but also ridiculously excited. 
For months, I had barely been able to walk, as my stomach was so huge and heavy, and my hips felt like they were coming apart at the seams.  My feet were hugely swollen, not that I would know, cuz I hadn't seen them in forever.  Everything on me hurt.  My back and hips, my stomach itself, my swollen ankles, everything.  I could barely eat because there was no room in my insides for anything but babies.  What I DID eat had to be carefully measured and carefully chosen, because I had gestational diabetes.  I had horrible heartburn, even with meds.  When I would try to lay down, it took me forever just to get up on the bed.  Then I would try laying flat, but there was so much weight and pressure on my internal organs, I'd have to change position.  Then I'd try turning on my side, which is what they generally tell pregnant women to do.  But when I did, my enormous belly would flop over onto the bed, and I could FEEL the babies, lying on the other side of my skin.  There was no position that didn't hurt.
I got up that morning and went on autopilot, getting everything packed and ready and into the car.  I was trying not to think too much, because I was so afraid inside that something would go wrong...that I'd bleed to death, or something would be wrong with the babies.  I couldn't even process all my emotions.  At that point, I just wanted it OVER. 
It didn't take long once we got to the hospital for things to start happening.  They start hooking up tubes and wires and getting everything ready, and then they led me down the hall, you have to walk yourself to the c-section room while your husband stays behind and puts on his little outfit and waits for everything to get started before they let him into the OR.  I had seen this all on tv, I knew how it would go, and I just did whatever I was told, trying to ignore my nerves.  The anesthesiologist came in and started the epidural, and then they strapped me down to the operating table.  I was so nervous about the surgery, but at the time, all I could think of was how good it felt.  It felt like hot liquid pouring down my back and into my legs, and then suddenly, NOTHING HURT.  It was the first time I had felt no pain in SOOOO LOONNNNG!  The Dr. kept asking "Are you ok? You're so quiet and that's not like you!"  I'm like "I'm just enjoying the lack of feeling!  This is GREAT!  I feel wonderful!"  He was chatting with me and joking around and I felt what I thought was him running his finger across the underside of my belly.  He was cutting me open.
They finally brought Charles in and I was so relieved to have him near me.  It's an odd, very helpless sensation when you can't move your body, and you couldn't run if you wanted to, but you're wide awake.  I was anxious to see the babies, but also semi-out of it from the anesthesia.  Almost like I was watching it happen to someone else.  Then I felt a "POP!"  and a huge "WHOOSH!"  Even with all the numbing and the lack of pain, just having him pull the first baby out felt AMAZING.  Like popping the biggest zit EVER.  A total release of pressure.  They held him up over the little curtain and he dripped on me, I knew it was "him" because 1) I knew it was baby "A" and that would be Weston and 2) His testicles were dangling inches from my face.  I heard him cry and felt another surge of relief.  Seconds later, another "POP!" and then they were holding up Aila over the curtain, also dripping.  Charles rushed around to see the babies better as they dried them off and checked them out.  The Dr. kept chatting with me as he was doing all the rest of his work.  I just kept thanking him and saying how good it felt to get them out!  He said he'd never had anyone tell him how great it felt in the middle of a c-section before. 
Soon, Charles was bringing them over to show me.  I couldn't use my arms yet or hold them, but he held them up close to my face so I could see them.  There were BEAUTIFUL.  I saw lots of hair, and I noticed that Weston had big juicy lips.  When they got me all put back together again, they laid both babies on my chest and wheeled me down the hallway to recovery, Charles walking alongside the bed.  That feeling when they laid both of my babies on me, I will never, ever forget that!  People passed us in the hall and looked at us and smiled, and I felt like I was holding millions of dollars or something.  As my sister put it, "Having twins feels like an embarrassment of riches!" 
They still had to check my stats as I came out of anesthesia, and check vitals on the babies, etc... so for the time being, no one was allowed back to see us.  It was just the nurses, Charles and I, and our twins.  After the babies had been thoroughly checked out, they handed one to me, and one to Charles.  I remember I had Weston... and they gave us little bottles of formula to feed them.  We were holding the bottles in their tiny little mouths and we looked up at each other, and I said to Charles "Can you believe this?  Can you even believe this is happening right now?"  About that time, I noticed Weston was making funny little grunting sounds.  The nurses heard it too, and called the NICU.  He was having trouble breathing.  They came and took him, for what I assumed would be a few hours in the NICU, and it ended up being five days.  I was ok when they took him, cuz I thought for sure he'd be right back. 
Over the next few days, I got to know Aila like the back of my hand.  The smell of her, her cry, her schedule, how she liked to be held, everything.  I gave her little spongebaths in our room and checked her out all over, from head to toe.  I counted all her fingers and toes and made sure everything was as it should be.  But baby Weston was two floors down and down a long hallway, through a door you had to get buzzed into.  I had just had a c-section, and couldn't just run down there to see him.  I had to wait till people were there so that someone could watch Aila, cuz she couldn't leave our room, and then get someone else to wheel me down to the NICU so I could see Weston.  The nurses were not particularly friendly, with the exception of one, and it was very difficult to hold him and spend time with him.  He was hooked up to so many things and I had to ask to have them unhook him so that I could even hold him, and sometimes they just told me "No."  I would just stare at him in his little bassinette, struggling to breathe, and I was DYING to hold my baby!  Furthermore, I had spent all these months fighting to grow TWO babies, and they had not spent more than a few minutes together from the time they came out of me.  I wondered if Aila missed him, and if he missed her, and if they knew that the other was missing.  I wondered if she would sleep better once she had her brother next to her.  I was feeding her and holding her like you would any singleton baby, but I had been reading up on and practicing how to feed and hold and care for TWO, and it just felt so wrong, having them separated. 
Finally, after 5 days, they released all of us to go home.  We got them all dressed and in their little car seats and strapped everybody in, and I was beside myself with excitement, but also filled with trepidation, cuz I was taking home a baby that I felt like I didn't even KNOW.  And so far, I'd had no practice with TWO. 
We got home, and I got out the boppy pillow, and put them in it together, side by side.  As soon as Aila felt his skin touch her face, she turned to him and started sucking on his ear.  They cuddled up tight to each other, and I knew they were happy now that they had each-other near, and the happy tears started streaming down my face.  THIS was how it was supposed to be! 
Over the past year, I've gotten to know Weston, my little baby boy who I didn't know at all the day I brought him home.  He is demanding, bossy, funny, hungry all the time, LOVES animals, and grins just like his daddy.  I've gotten to know Aila so much better than I did.  How she's prissy, sweet, quieter than her brother, a bit more skittish, and loves to be snuggled.  They play together, fight together, refuse to take their naps together, and insist on having whatever the other one has, be it food, toys, or attention.  They are the hardest thing I've ever done and by far the most rewarding! 
I meet people all the time who tell me "I was a twin, the other one died during childbirth."  Or "My son was a twin, but the other one didn't make it."  It seems like EVERYONE has a story of twins where one of them died, or they both died, or they were born but faced horrible medical problems, etc...  People tried to tell me these stories while I was pregnant, but I couldn't bear to hear them.  Now, I listen to them, and remind myself, most people are not as fortunate as I am.  Many, many people want twins and never get pregnant with them, or get pregnant with them and then something awful happens.  Most people's twin stories do not have as happy of an ending as mine.  I never take for  granted my happy ending, and my two beautiful babies. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

In Which People Can Take Their Advice and Snarky Comments And Shove It

Hmmmm,  in a foul mood and probably should not be writing when I'm like this.  But here goes, and btw this is NOT aimed at anyone who might even possibly be reading this, so if you are reading this, please don't think I mean you! 
What is on my mind today is people, especially jerky ones, who do not have children or have not had children in 50 years or so, who want to give me advice about how to raise mine.  I do not like this.  They may shove it.  I shall let them chose where.
Children are annoying, this is just a fact of life.  Anyone who has had children knows this.  There's no way to escape it.  Grown people are annoying too, and have bad days, and get tired and cranky.  The only difference is, children do not have the self-control that grown-ups should have by now developed, and yet, grown-ups (mostly the ones who are cranky and annoying themselves!)  seem to think that when a small child is tired and cranky, their parents should somehow beat it out of them. 
Before I had children, I had all kinds of therories myself.  I was gonna discipline my children this way or that way and they were gonna be perfect and respectful and sweet and behave and sit still like little happy robots.  Then I had my first one, and Brenna made it quite clear to me that I, as her mother, had NO control over her mood, her thoughts, her feelings, and for a long time, her behavior. 
It seems that the most judgement comes from people at my place of woship, and this can be very distressing to me.  No one outside of my immediate family knows exactly what I go through to get there twice a week.  The hours of preparation, trying to schedule feedings and naps and baths and getting dressed so that everyone arrives there on time, relatively clean, and if all goes well, not starving and not exhausted.  By the time we get there, I always feel as if I have just run a mini-marathon.  I'm tired, my back is KILLING me, (I've had bad back problems for years, and believe me, they're exacerbated by carrying around giant babies!)  Most of the time it's a complete fight for me to make myself get there and have everyone in my family ready and dressed.  Thank goodness for all the kindhearted people there who say things like "I don't know how you do it!" "You're my hero!"  "You don't know how encouraging it is for me to see you here, when I'm tired and don't feel like coming, I tell myself I have to because if you can do it with twins, I have no excuse."  People who say things like that make me fight even harder to be there.  There are also the people who take the babies for me and help me with them, so that I can pay attention while I'm there for at least a few minutes.  To all these people, I say a huge thank you!
However, once I get there and sit down, I usually have about 20 to 30 minutes of good behavior out of the twins, on a good day.  That is about their limit for sitting still and quietly.  They are not quite a year old, and being able to sit quietly for 30 minutes is pretty good for that age, if you ask me, and this is my third and fourth child, so I do have a little experience with such things.  Now after about the 30 minute mark, they're growing restless.  They want to have a snack, or get down and crawl/walk, or they're desperate to go to sleep, and they won't sleep with someone holding them.  This is where things start to get dicey. 
The whining starts, and the fussing.  I hand them a baby book or something to try to keep them quiet, and they throw it or scream out.  I give them the scary mommy face and tell them to hush, they scream again.  Now that they're almost a year old, I take them into the back sometimes and pop their behind, telling them very sternly to hush, and be quiet, and as soon as the crying stops, I go back to my seat.  But invariably, when my butt hits the chair, they begin crying again.  At this point, what exactly am I supposed to do?  I can't keep sitting there, because they are disturbing everyone with their crying.  But when I get up to take them out, they are happy they're getting to get up, which is exactly what they wanted, and they immediately get quiet. 
I try taking them out where no one can hear them crying and making them sit still on my lap, but they wriggle and fight and throw themselves backwards off my lap.  They are not quite one, for goodness sake, they want to be moving around.  And I'm 41 and have a bad back, and by the time all this is going on, I'm exhausted, sweating, and my back muscles feel like they're on fire.  When I can't physically do it anymore, I put them down.  Then they're happy.  They babble and they walk/crawl, and they drink their milk and have a little snack, and then (usually) they're happy.  I KNOW that it's not optimal for them to be having fun in the back, because now they'll always request to go back there instead of sitting still.  I'm AWARE of this.  But dadgummit, what am I supposed to do when I've got no fight left in me? 
Then I have to hear the comments.  "They really have got you trained, don't they?"  "Have you noticed that as soon as you get up to take them out, they get quiet?" 
YES, I HAVE NOTICED.  AND YES, I AM EMBARRASSED BY IT.  But what exactly would you recommend that I do?  I try the popping and returning to the seat, so far, since they are still BABIES, it hasn't worked.  So should I just continue to sit there and let them cry at the seat?  Do the people complaining not mind if I just sit there while the babies cry in their ear?  Should I not put them down in the back and let them toddle around?  Well, that sounds great, but my spine is about to snap in half, so that's not quite physically possible for me.  Should I not feed them a snack or give them milk?  They are not quite one, have tiny tummies, and need to eat many times a day.  They are BABIES, not tiny adults.  And if I make them stay hungry, trust me, they will NOT be any quieter.  As an experienced mother, I know that this is a phase.  Brenna and Dalton put me through the same thing, but they no longer cry to get up and go to the back or ask for snacks during the meeting.  This does not last forever, it's a thing that happens with babies, and one has to find a way to get through it.
Funny thing is, it's almost always the people who have no children, or had their children long, loooonnnnggg ago who have all the criticism.  I would actually not mind advice from say, a person who also raised 4 children, or a person who raised their kids later in life and knows what it's like to be older and trying to do this parenting stuff with a body that's falling apart.  Or a person who had twins and knows how it feels to be outnumbered by babies, and the battle that goes on just to be able to GET there, much less keep them quiet.  But it's never those people.  Those are the people who pat my back and say "good job, I don't know how you do it." 
So to the others, the ones with the smug looks and the whispers and the snide remarks and the criticism:  I love you as my brother or sister, and yet, you can feel free to shove it.  I'll let you decide where.  Have a great afternoon!  :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

In Which I Think About Sibling Rivalry

Watching the twins deal with each-other, and of course watching my older kids, I've been thinking a lot about sibling rivalry.  Weston and Aila just crack me up...he wants ALL THE MILK and she knows that as of right now, she can walk and he cannot (although he's really starting to now!)  So Aila will hold her sippy cup over her head where he can't reach it and run like crazy to get away from him.  When she realizes he's GOING to get her and there's nothing she can do to stop it, she'll drop what he wants and go in the other direction.  She'll scream at him for taking whatever it is, but she's already learned she'd rather let him have it than have him attack her for it.  When I'm holding Aila, Weston can't stand it and will walk over to the couch and start saying "Mamamamamamam" over and over and over again until he gets picked up.  It's ALWAYS a competition with those two, for food, for attention, everything. 
Then there's Dalton, who is suddenly stuck being a middle child (I know how that stinks!) and he's jealous of both Brenna (for being older and having more priveleges) and also the twins (for being tiny and getting lots of attention.)  He is in a pretty much constant state of jealousness right now, and he can't decide whether he wants to be grown and get to go places and do things like his big sister, or sit on my lap and be snuggled like the babies. 
Watching them all go through this, I keep flashing back to my own childhood and episodes of sibling rivalry.  Betsy was *ahem!* EIGHT years older than me (and today's her birthday, not that I would harrass her about her age or anything!) and she always got to do all the cool stuff.  Betsy got to stay up till ten watching Masterpiece Theater with Mom and Dad.  I was SO JEALOUS of this, because Mom and Dad and Bets all acted like Masterpiece Theater was the best thing EVER.  I begged for years to be able to watch it with them.  Finally, when I was, I dunno, maybe eleven or so, they let me watch it with them and stay up late.  I remember it was "Disraeli."  I didn't understand a dadgummed thing that was going on, I was bored to death, and I was so confused as to why this was supposed to be so great.  But I watched it, and I was proud as punch that I got to while David had to go to bed!  I told all my friends about watching "Disraeli" and tried to act like I completely got it and it was so awesome. 
Betsy also went through a phase of drinking iced tea, it was that instant stuff what you mix up with a spoon.  No one would let me drink it.  I WANTED ICED TEA.  Finally one day, they let me have some.  Let me tell you, that right there was some nasty crap!  Little brown specks floating around in my drink cuz I didn't stir it up enough, fake lemon taste...EW!  But I can remember how I held my glass and how important and cool I thought I was cuz I was drinking it, because BETSY drank that stuff. 
Meanwhile, I learned later on, Betsy is looking at me and hating me cuz Mom and Dad pay me all the attention, buy me all the clothes, call me "pretty" when Betsy always gets called "smart," etc... I was busy wanting to BE her and she was busy wanting to muzzle me and put me in a closet. 
When I was in my late teens, I went for a visit to Betsy's, who was now married, had kids, and lived in Georgia.  Her husband at the time, whom I shall here refer to as "Lucifer," wanted to take us to dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant.  He told us to "look nice."  Well, I didn't have anything with me to wear but either jeans and tee-shirts, or a dress.  So I put on a dress.  Betsy meanwhile put on normal eating out clothes, a nicer top with jeans, if I remember correctly.  But then when she saw me in the dress, she went and switched to a dress.  I can't remember now exactly how it went, but I DO remember that we both ended up changing clothes about 5 times apiece, and we were laughing hysterically about it, but it was clear that there was STILL some sibling rivalry going on. 
David and I, on the other hand, were just three years apart in age, and so we had a relationship more similar to what the twins have now.  He was the absolute bane of my existence.  I hated the way he chewed his Cap'n Crunch.  I hated the way he breathed.  I hated the way when he got hot, the only place he got sweaty was on the tip of his nose, and there were always about 8 little sweat beads right there.  I hated the way he told on me for EVERYTHING I ever did, and half the time he made the stuff up.  He fell into the pond?  I THREW him in.  He didn't like the way we were playing a game?  He told Mom I cheated and she made us both come inside.  I let him know how much I hated him by pounding on him every chance I got.  He was smaller and younger and the only way he could fight back was to throw himself down on the ground or couch or wherever and put his feet up and kick me. 
All the sudden, one day, he was bigger than me.  I remember being 16 and having my first car, and I wanted to wash it on the carport, but David wanted to play basketball on the carport, and he didn't want it wet.  I went out and got all my stuff ready and turned on the hose.  But the jolly white giant went out and held the hose so it was kinked, so I couldn't use it.  I screamed, I fought, I tried to pry it out of his hands, but there was no getting that hose.  I was NOT gonna wash my car, and there was no way around it.  Dad had warned me that one day he was gonna be bigger than me, and the day had come.  It was so FRUSTRATING!
Never had too much sibling rivalry with Gabe, cuz he was so much younger than the rest of us.  He just annoyed us to pieces.  He's closer in age to David, so I think they had more of the rivalry.  He used to drive us crazy because he was so stinking weirdly smart, so David especially would take great pleasure in messing with his head.  On the way to the District Convention, 4 year old Gabe was reading all the signs, which was just obnoxious cuz 4 yr olds aren't supposed to be able to read like that.  We saw a "Coliseum" sign, and he was like "'Coliseum!' We're almost there!"  David said "It's not pronounced 'coliseum,' Gabe.  It's 'co-LIS-ee-um.'  Taken from the Latin 'co-LIS,' meaning 'to gather together' and 'ee-um,' meaning 'Jehovah's Witnesses.'"  "Oooooh," Gabe said, "co-LIS-ee-um!" 
We all fought like cats and dogs, tried to make each-other look bad, etc... but then again, if I needed a giant bug killed in my room, David would do it.  When he wasn't being the bane of my existence, he was my partner in crime, and my best bud.  He helped me dig up worms for bait when my parents went fishing, helped me build forts, we made "money" together by cutting out paper, coloring it green, crumpling it up and getting it wet, and laying it sopping wet over his lamp to dry to give it the right texture.  He went with me on all my walks to the "Cheek-o-mart" after school to buy junk food.  He was my sicko partner when we found the frozen squirrel and threw it and skipped it across the frozen creek.  Betsy let me borrow her clothes, took me on hikes where we played our Chariots of Fire game that we made up ourselves, took me to Perkins library to do my homework, let me tag along as chaperone on all her dates, and gave me all the really important advice I needed as I grew up, cuz she had just gone through everything a few years ahead of me.  So I hope that's how it'll work out for my kids, and I tell them that all the time.  When Brenna and Dalton fight, I remind them of how much I used to think I hated their Uncle David, and now I don't get to see him near enough and miss him so badly, and one day they're gonna realize that underneath all that hatred, they're really best friends.  And if Weston and Aila survive through their toddlerhood and stop pulling each-other's hair and knocking each-other down, I hope one day they'll realize that too.

Monday, October 8, 2012

In Which I Have A Case Of The Itchies

Just got off the phone with someone who lives far away who was telling me about some children who, months ago, had lice.  Now my head is suddenly itching as if it's totally infested with bugs!  The power of suggestion!  It's such a weird thing! 
Why is it that someone can talk about lice, and your head itches?  Or you can read a news article about someone finding an alligator in their toilet, and be terrified of the potty for weeks? 
Once, I saw a special on tv about how Sydney, Australia, is built on a huge spider nest.  They're called the "Sydney Funnel-Web Spider" and they are poisonous and they JUMP.  It showed them jumping at people, they hide in mailboxes and shoes and stuff and then JUMP towards you when they see you coming!  And they love swimming pools and they get all around people's swimming pools and stuff.  Argh, I had nightmares for weeks and was afraid to even stomp on a spider if I saw one, for fear it was gonna jump at me and bite me. 
Speaking of spiders, one year, in October (this is the WORST month for spiders, after all!)  I had just come home and was walking up to my house, in the dark, and saw a GIANT spider on the sidewalk, lit up by the porchlight.  Normally, I would just let a spider go when it was outside, but this thing was ENORMOUS and right there near my door, so I stomped it.  As soon as I did, little babies went running EVERYWHERE, it felt like they were going up my legs, they scattered in all directions.  Apparently, the mother spider had a gazillion-quadtuple baby spiders riding around on her giant body. (Which, now that I think about it, is kinda how I feel when I'm carrying around the twins.)  I screamed bloody murder and did this crazed "get-em-off-me!" dance right there on the sidewalk.  Just then, a friend of mine happened to drive by, and she almost ran off the road cuz I scared her so bad.  "Are you ok?!  Are you ok?!" she screamed out her car window.  I had to calm down enough to try to tell her what had happened, the babies still running everywhere.  I felt them all over me for days, and writing about them, I feel them on me now!
At my sister's house, deep in the woods, there are ticks.  A couple months ago I went for a visit, and stood out on the deck for awhile on the phone.  That was the only time I was outside!  Before I left her house, I found a teeny-tiny tick on my stomach, attached and eating away.  I got it off, killed it, disinfected.  Then,  2 days later, when I was at home, I found ANOTHER one attached to the backside of my knee.  I felt ticks everywhere after that, I was searching my clothes over and over again, running my hands through my hair and over my body, and every little mole or skin tag I was freaking out over and making my husband look, "Is this a tick?"  "No, a mole."  "Are you SURE it's not a tick?  Is THIS a tick?" 
It doesn't even have to be about buggies or something...ever notice how when someone else throws up suddenly you feel like you're gonna puke?  To quote "Wayne's World," "Don't hurl man, cuz then I'll spew!" "Don't spew, cuz then I'll blow chunks!" 
Ah, well.  The power of suggestion.  I think I'm gonna go take a bath, search for ticks, check my head for lice, and check my shoes for spiders.  And I may just blow chunks for good measure. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In Which I "Like" on Facebook a Woman I've Never Met

Today, I read a bunch of news online, as I do every day, and one particular story really, really grabbed my attention.  It was the one about Jennifer Livingston, a news anchor in Wisconsin, who went on a four minute tirade about an email she received from some guy, basically telling her she should not be on tv because she's obese and it's a bad role model for little kids who are watching.  She called him a bully, ripped him a new anus, kept her composure and did not cry, and just all around let him have it.  I, however, was watching it on video and applauding her with tears running down my face.  I went straightaway to facebook, found her page and "liked" it, and left her a note saying she was beautiful inside and out, to which some numskull dude replied "Really got a crush, eh?"  PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID!!!! 
Anyway, all afternoon I kept seeing things about it on the news shows and elsewhere, and there was all this debate about is what the email said really bullying and was she being overly sensitive. 
The jerk didn't say that he was concerned about her health and wished she would take better care of herself, he essentially told her she should quit her job because her body wasn't good enough!  And then even on her facebook page, where people are telling her how inspiring her words were, etc... there are people making comments like "She's not a role model, but she's a 'roll' model!"  It just makes me hate the human race.
I used to be skinny, a long, long time ago.  I can remember thinking I would never, EVER let myself get out of shape and that I was always gonna look just as I did when I was 16.  I thought being fat was gross, and it certainly was never my intention to turn out this way.  I never threw up my hands and said "I don't care."  It just sort of happened.  I hit 19, and gained weight.  I got thyroid disease and started having it treated, and gained more weight.  I started having babies, and not only gained weight, but also got all the weird things that happen to your body when you have babies, things drooping where they ought not be drooping, fat redistributing where there used to be none, etc... 
There was a time when I thought I should just lay down and die because my life was over, because of my weight.  I was fat now, so why bother living?  There was a party where I spent my time in a bedroom curled up in the fetal position sobbing my eyes out, because I felt I couldn't enjoy myself because I was fat.  A wise and chubby relative of mine had to talk me out of my funk just to pry me out of that bedroom and back to where all the people were. I look back now at pictures from that time period, and I wasn't even really fat!  Compared to where I am NOW,  I was stinking SKINNY!  And I let my worries ruin a perfectly good party.  I have spent countless hours worrying about going places or doing things, feeling not good enough, crying about how I look, having ACTUAL NIGHTMARES where I'm doing something I love and then realize I look stupid cuz I'm fat... it's a waste of life to spend all that time that way!  YES, it's good to be thin, and YES, it's very unhealthy to be obese.  I'm still fighting to whip it to this day, and I will continue to fight.  I'm not at all saying that we should all just quit trying to be healthy and eat a bunch of chocolate cake.  But I'll tell you this, as an experienced fat person:  I've tried diets, I've been a total workout freak, I've tried diet pills, I've seen doctors about it, and I've had varied degrees of success, up and down and back and forth.  It's a neverending battle.   But it doesn't do ANYONE any good if I refuse to do anything fun until I'm at my perfect weight.  If I never put on a bathing suit, or dance at a party, or buy a nice dress, or ride a ride at the fair, etc... until I look a way I'm happy with, then I'm gonna waste my life waiting.  And if I were fortunate enough to have found a job I love, reporting the news on TV, and some jerk wrote that I should stop doing my job because my fatness might be contagious to people watching, I can only HOPE I'd have the wherewithall  to rant for four solid minutes on television about what a jerk he was and where he should shove it.  I'm sure my first impulse would be to think "He's right, I'm not good enough, I should quit."  and to curl up in the fetal position and bawl my eyes out.  But Jennifer Livingston didn't.  She stood there with poise and said what she needed to say, and for that reason, she's my new role model.  And not my "roll" model, Mr. Poopforbrains! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

In Which I Have An Awesome Dream

So last night I dreamt that our mortgage company decided that not only could they lower our payments (we've been trying to set this up in real life, I guess that's what brought on the dream) but that also, we didn't have to pay our mortgage at all.  And furthermore, that our house was too small to meet our needs, and they were gonna give us a bigger one.  (I know, this happens all the time and I should hold my breath!  Lol!) 
Anyway...back to the dream....  So, the mortgage company gives us a new house.  New to US, that is, it was actually an older house that some people had moved out of and left almost everything in it.  We pulled up to it in the van, and it didn't look like much of anything, just a run-down little ranch in the woods.  But I was thrilled about the woods part, and there was a huge yard, and I was thinking "Well, even though the house looks tiny and old, the outside will be really great for the kids." 
Then we went inside.  Nothing about it was brand new and shiny, all the stuff was older and a little worn.  But there was EVERYTHING THERE WE COULD POSSIBLY NEED.  We started looking around, opening doors and looking in cabinets, and there was EVERYTHING.  The kitchen had a big island in the middle, with giant old pots to cook in.  In one corner of the huge kitchen, there was a pool table, with all the stuff for playing.  I started walking down hallways and opening doors, and there were bedrooms for every one of my children, extras that I was thinking "these can be for our future grandchildren when they come to visit!"  Every bedroom had it's own bathroom.  Then there were 2 HUGE living-room type spaces.  I went in the closet to the first one, and it was filled with baby/toddler play houses and slides and big plastic toys.  I was mentally designing the babies' new playroom!  Then I found the second living space, and the closet off of it had video games and Star Wars toys.  And I was thinking "Dalton gets his own playroom!  And video games, which he's never had before!  He's gonna LOOOOVVVE this!" 
I kept walking through and found a laundry room with huge tables for folding and drawers to put things away.  The master bedroom with bathroom attached.  Then I saw the giant garage and the big wraparound front porch.  I wandered outside and found rocking chairs on the porch, an old garden that had been cultivated but left behind, that I knew I could easily keep up.  There was a fenced in area for the babies to play with a swing set inside.  Then I saw a barn in the distance. 
I walked over to the barn and went in, and there were animals, all the cutest kinds, and they ALL had just had babies.  There were baby goats and baby piglets and little chicks and ducklings and kittens.  I was feeding everything and petting them all and thinking how much fun this was all gonna be. 
Then I woke up.  Dadgummit, I didn't wanna wake up!  If only it could all be real.  Nothing fancy, nothing shiny and new or showy.  Just plenty of room, things for my kids to play with, a garden and animals and a beautiful yard.  Maybe one day, Shelly.  And until then, I always have my dreams!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

In Which I Cry While Watching Television

Settled in to watch tv tonight, excited cuz the fall season has started and I was finally gonna get to find out who lived through that horrible plane crash on Grey's Anatomy.  Start watching the show, and it ends up, Mark Sloan (one of the characters) had "survived" the plane crash, but had been on life support, and his wishes were that if something happened where he was on life support and didn't improve within 30 days, he wanted to be taken off and allowed to die, and this was supposed to be day 30. 
So at this point, all my family and close friends are gonna know exactly what I'm thinking here, and why I suddenly found myself sobbing at the tv. Two years ago,  my mom was on life support, kept alive with a ton of  meds and a ventilator, for several days until we finally realized there was no possible hope, and we had to make the decision to take her off.  Watching it happen on tv made it all flash back in my mind, clear as anything.
My dad didn't want to make the decision.  He asked each individual member of the family what they thought he should do.  If any one of us had said to wait, I'm sure he would have.  But it was torture watching her lay there, with 13 different meds being pumped into her as hard as they could, knowing that she'd never wake up, and she'd never be herself again if somehow she could.  And if she COULD wake up, she would sit up and scream at all of us for keeping her on that horrible vent and having her poked and prodded and essentially tortured in a selfish attempt to keep her alive a little longer.  The doctor had laid it on the line for us, and let us know that she was already "only 10% alive, the rest is machines."  We were just prolonging the inevitable.  So when Dad asked each one of us what we thought he should do, her four children, and her sisters, we all had the same answer.  "Turn it off.  She would HATE this.  There's no hope.  Turn it off." 
They led us all into a little room to wait while they took out the ventilator, turned off the meds, and put the sides down on the bed so that we could all crowd around and be close to her.  They carefully explained what they would be doing and what we should expect.  They told us she would continue breathing for some time after the machine was turned off, and there was no way to know how long.  Could be minutes, could be hours.  They turned off the monitors so we wouldn't have to hear the slowing "beeps" as her heart stopped.  And then they led us all back in.
All the tubes and wires were cleared away, so we could actually SEE her.  She was still breathing in exactly the same pattern as the ventilator had done, they never show that on tv or in movies when they take someone off life support.  The tube was not there, the machine was not there, but she breathed in the same pattern with the same sound that she had on the vent.  The thought went through my mind that maybe she'd just keep right on breathing, and wouldn't die after all.  But as we talked to her, held her hands, told her we loved her, and said our goodbyes, the breaths got further and further apart, and more and more shallow.  And then they stopped. 
It is a day I try not to think about.  It is a day I had to replay in my mind a million times after it happened to work through and to process, and now I try to forget.  I feel guilty writing about it because I know my family will read this and it will make them all remember too, and none of us want to think about it. 
If I can ever stop crying and get to sleep tonight, I'm gonna wake up tomorrow and try to forget it again.  And the next time I'm trying to chill out and watch tv, if the scene calls for someone to be taken off life support, I'm gonna change the channel.  It's no longer "entertainment" to watch a scene like that when you've been through it for real.  It was gut-wrenching, mind boggling, horrific, and it changed every one of us who were there.   If I can help it, I don't ever want to remember it again.
Those of you reading this who still have your parents, call them today and tell them you love them, because I said so.