Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Good-Byes of the Last Week

On Friday we said good-bye to the nanny.  Ok, the kids said good-bye, Dave said, "This is your last night. Go get the car seats out of your car, you won't be coming back to work for us," after finding out that Nanny Nightmare locked the twins outside on a MN winter day for over two hours without supervision because the twins had had a fight.  (We found this out thanks to some observant neighbors.)

Also on Friday, I cleaned out my Facebook likes (still a work in progress) as well as "friends."  Why in the world did I accept friend requests from bullies of my past?  Now the friend list is a more intimate circle of close friends, close neighbors, and family.  And it feels better.

On Saturday we said good-bye to Maggie.  Her peeing, pooping (multiple times an hour inside despite just seconds ago relieving herself outside!) and onset of seizures were growing too much for us to address as a family and the rescue organization was unhelpful and unsupportive.  It broke our hearts to return her.

On Tuesday at 4 AM we said good-bye to Daddy as we headed to Washington, DC for the week.

On Tuesday night we said good-bye to Mocha.

On Thursday we said good-bye to Bobo and Kelli.  They arrived on Weds to do childcare while mommy worked; but Kelli was sick and mommy said, "You have to go, we can't chance being sick."  Thus possibly starting WWIII with my mother.  Ay yi yi.

On this most recent Friday we said good-bye to all weekend plans including the last day of gymnastics and two birthday parties when Sophia got sick.

On Monday we hopefully said the beginning of good-bye to the strep germs making Sophie sick when the doctor gave Sophia a shot of penicillin.  It doesn't appear Kelli has strep, though. I am not sure she was actually tested for strep and she is still sick.  Whatever it is, let's hope Kelli gets better soon. 

On Tuesday, we say hello to our new nanny who has a BS in elementary ed, is licensed as a teacher, and can stay with us til the fall (fingers crossed) when we say good-bye to her as she enters the teaching profession full-time.

I'm not a song writer, but if I was, I'm pretty sure the life events in the past week would have been the makings for a country hit.

Parent Night at Ballet and Tap 2012

Last night was Parent Night at ballet and tap. I can't get the tap video to download.  Ella is the one in all back, pony tail with arms rounded above her head.  (Sophia missed the special night, she was (and still is) on death's door, practically, with strep throat.)  As usual, though, Andi takes over with Ella somewhere in the background...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mocha 1995-2012

Mocha -- AKA --
Sister Mary Margaret
Pip Pip
Pippi Lou Harris

died on Tuesday Feb. 21st, 2012.  She was euthanized in her mommy's arms due to poor quality of life stemming from dementia, arthritis, and a collapsing wind-pipe. Mocha was just a few weeks shy of her 17th birthday.   

She was preceded in death by her sister Alli and aunt Jojo. 

Mocha is survived by her Frien-emy, Paisley who is now living in IA with Bobo and Grampa

Mocha was "her own dog" as many put it.  Mocha was the alpha bitch in the household (I know this is surprising to many of you who'd have thought her owner claimed the title).  Mocha came before Dave and as such, she hated him and didn't often miss a chance to bite him -- especially if he tried to get anywhere near Shannon. 

Mocha hated being apart from Shannon and would cry and chase Shannon out the door, biting Shannon's ankle as Shannon used her foot to push Mocha back in the door.  Since Mocha was so attached to Shannon, the pair of them earned the Canine Good Citizen Award so that Mocha could travel a few more places with Shannon that she may not have gotten to travel otherwise. Doesn't it look like she is smiling in these pics?

Mocha was smart as a whip, spirited and athletic.  In her younger days, she loved to swim and fetch "SQUEAKIES!!!!" out of the water.  She would jump off the side of the pool, rafts, and the diving board.  Nothing could keep her from her object of obsession.  Mocha usually destroyed every single squeaky toy she had within minutes.

Mocha was also a runner and would run with Shannon -- or without her.  Funny story.  Mocha got loose while brother Patrick was supposed to be watching Mocha at Shannon's parents house.  Mocha ran all the way back to Shannon's condo.  Patrick arrived shortly after Mocha did -- he was panting, out of breath, and pissed.  "She made me chase her and she took the LONG way back to your condo!"  (Ok. Maybe that's only funny to me.  Still.)

Mocha is eight pounds but never backed down from any fights she started at the dog park, no matter how big the dog was that was shaking her around by her neck.  She loved riding on Shannon's lap on car rides, biting Paisley's boxer-jowels, and going for walks.  Shannon doted on that dog, grooming her, fluffing her, and kissing her smack on the lips...

"I have caught more ills from people sneezing over me and giving me virus infections than from kissing dogs."
    -Barbara Woodhouse
Until the twins showed up.  Then Mocha faded to the background.  Gradually dementia set in and Mocha no longer wished to be touched.  She was not groomed in the last couple years of her life.  (Hello, guilt).  Walks went away when she couldn't keep up and she spent most of her time in her bed. Ignored.  Actually, forgotten about in the chaos of things. (Guilt, please, I beg you, go away.)

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
    - Unknown
Memorial services will be held at a later date.  

"Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, 
these quiet friends, 
is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives."
John Galsworthy 

And one last time...
 Night night Mocha, night night.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Kelli

Today is Kelli's birthday.  Happy birthday to the poet in the family.

Kelli is my sister.  She has autism and epilepsy.  She has big blue eyes and thick wavy brown hair.  She lives with my parents.  Someday she will most likely live with me.  She knows how to read, can't speak, but sometimes communicates with facilitated communication -- a controversial practice, but one that my family knows works. 

Kelli cannot complain that she is trapped in her own mind.  That she will never live on her own, much less marry or have children.  Or join the work world.  Kelli does not lament about the boredom of her day program, or the unfairness of being unable to drive her own life decisions.  

Kelli loves food and loves the people that sneak her the junk food mom won't let her have.  She is obsessed with the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and has probably heard it well over a million times.  She would marry Billy Ray Cyrus if he asked. 

She perseverates -- as the autism language goes -- on things like blood, bleeding, sirens, ambulances and will randomly shout, "Oh! I'm hurt! I'm bleeding! Call 911!" which has brought countless stares by curious strangers and mall security over to us on an occasion or two.   (ROFLMAO, as a friend would say.) 

Kelli loves slapstick comedy.  Someone falling flat on their face will get her laughing so hard that tears will fall from her huge baby blues -- and if I am being honest, the same is true for me.  We are truly sisters when it comes to our, perhaps, sadistic sense of humor. 

Kelli is my sister, my teacher, that person you may stare at wondering why she is an adult but I am holding hands with her as we walk through the mall.  Kelli is vulnerable, a fighter, and a poet.

Happy Birthday NaNa,

May your day be filled with rainbows and a tin man, sirens, achey-breaky hearts, plenty of "snack sticks," an incident of two of mom choking (that will get her laughing) and of dad falling off the edge of the sidewalk stumbling through the grass. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Really? I'm Not the Only One?

There have been a lot of articles that are popping up lately about how being on Facebook can make a person feel like crap.  I find that very validating.  I tend to feel agitated when I get done being on Facebook.  It has helped a bit that I figured out how to hide status updates of people who irritate me with their righteous narcissism or their flaunting of their reproductive ability.  My PTSD from years of reproduction gone wrong just won't let go and I can't stand all the ultrasound pictures posted as profiles.  As long as I am on a rant that fully displays how crazy and insecure I am, the "I love my" partner posts make me gag and if I really wanted to read mushy crap I could go stand in a Hallmark store in the Between You and Me card section.  And since I am reigning Mother-of-the-Year, the posts about people's children being their greatest blessing EVER elicits an automatic response of good for you -- tell your kids, not me, 'cuz I don't give a rats ass about who your heart beats for. Oh, and the pictures of your baby dog wearing the cute tutu and sunglasses.  Really? 

Call me bitter and insecure.  Call me unhappy or negative.  You'd be right. I feel that way when I come off of Facebook. 

But when I avoid Facebook, I feel even keeled, sane, grateful, and normal -- unless Dave or my children are in the room, then it's a toss up.  Everyday I wake up and feel grateful that I have a healthy family and a healthy body.  I feel grateful for the days that I can go about my normal business, even if that business is dealing with whiney children who I'd like to run away from or a house so cluttered it paralyzes me.  Because all that "normal" stuff means that something horribly wrong isn't happening.  Does that make sense?  Oh god, am I sick and twisted?

But the days I read facebook, my normal doesn't seem good enough.  There is a small handful of people who add sunshine to my life that I hear from only because of facebook, and that is all that keeps me tied to it.  I'm not sure if there is any way of getting rid of facebook and still keeping those connections that I value right now.  I wish I didn't have to go through so many weeds of "my life is amazing" posts self promoting to get through to the roses of actual authentic connections with a small handful of friends and family. 

The research that is coming out on social networking and the effect it has on our psyches indicates that people tend to overplay the good in their life and are very quiet about the negative in their life. (Well, duh.) It's about an image, I guess.  Or perhaps everybody else besides me has appropriate boundaries on what they report?

Nobody talks about how shitty they feel when they hear about all the fantastic events in others lives and I was really beginning to wonder if something was wrong with me.  Did I have a personality disorder? Was it my poor self esteem talking?  Was I depressed despite my daily breakfast of champions that consists of zoloft and Caribou coffee? 

I am fine bitching and complaining and acting like a crazy woman on my woefully unpopular blog. I don't want people, moms especially, to come here and read about only the gleaming aspects of  life and walk away feeling like shit.  Life has dark moments, parenting is hellishly hard on a person's marriage, mental health, and finances, and I'm  happy to write about those moments so that all 23 people who read this blog on average on a daily basis can walk away and think, "Woh.  At least I'm not that verge of twinsanity chick.  I might actually be normal.  I think I'm doin' ok afterall."     

Monday, February 13, 2012


We want someone who is nice.
And who doesn't make us stay in the basement the whole time you are gone and tell us, "Be Quiet! Be Quiet! Be Quiet!"
And who takes us on outtings.
She types on her phone or her computer.  All the time. Or she talks on her phone.  (Oh hell no.  This is the final nail in the coffin.  What happened to Nanny K's promise to mommy, "I always leave my phone off when I work."  Oh, wait.  The key word in Nanny K's statement was "work." That dumb girl hasn't done a bit of work.)
We want to go outside (on a nice day) but she says, "just go downstairs and ... Be Quiet!"
She doesn't talk to us very much.
She's mean. 
She doesn't play with us ever.  We play by ourselves. 
We want a new nanny mommy. 

Mommy and Daddy want a new nanny for all the above reasons PLUS the following:

She bakes a frozen pizza on the cardboard it is packed on. (What? How stupid are you?)
She doesn't give Sophia her medicine.
She doesn't do the dishes.
She doesn't pick up the toys.  (She sometimes makes the girls do it, though).
She won't cut up the fricking apple I set out for the girls. Is it too much to ask you to feed the girls some fruits and veggies?
She doesn't do the girls homework with them or unpack their backpacks despite me asking her three damn days in a row and despite that being the only thing I asked of her outside of feeding the girls lunch -- that I already made.
She lets Maggie roam the house without supervision and that means Maggie pees and poops everywhere.  Guess who has been cleaning up?  One of my 5 yr-olds.  Why? Because "she was busy on her phone, mommy."
She ate my entire bag of gourmet organic chips.
In one day. 

Don't mess with a skinny girl's junk food.

Or her children.

Nanny K talks a really good "Cleaning up after the children is a normal part of a nanny job and I'll gladly do other things like laundary," game that mommy feels stupid that she fell for.  But the jig is up.  The replacement is hired.

I feel so Donald Trump-ish.  Let me practice this one more time and make my point very clear.

Nanny K, you're fired.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


The girls got skates this week.  I bought an orange thing they could use to keep their balance while they learned to skate.  I figured skating would be a really hard skill and with only one of me out on the ice to assist, we were going to need something else to hang on to.  But the twins refused to use the orange stand.  Ella shoved it to the side and took off skating and turned around and giggled at me like a mad woman.  Sophia was pretty graceful, gliding along on her skates daintily.  Andi ended up using the orange thing to push around and keep her balance, though she preferred my hand. 

Yes. I put helmets on all three of them.  You never can be too careful with those tiny little brains.  My time spent as a therapist for TBI patients witnessing the devastating and lasting effects of a family bike ride gone wrong have made a permanent impact on me. Aside from my fears of germs, reptiles, the dark, my children dying of cancer, or myself developing a debilitating disease, I fear injuries to the brain.  I seem to have gotten sidetracked...

Here's the pics...