Archive for June, 2016

What Can You Say?

What can you say?  hum?  What can you say?  What can you say when you love someone so much that words can’t even begin to express it.  When there aren’t words in existence in any known language in any part of this universe that could possibly explain this intense feeling, these complex yet simple emotions?  What can you say when the word “love” can’t even begin to convey what you’re feeling?  You can just cuddle me and say…

ummmm ummmm

ummmm ummmm

ummmm ummmm

…and I’ll know.

(Happy Birthday, my two twos, ummmm ummmm)

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Baby Blues

Baby Blues

da da da da dum…
da da da da dum…
da da da da dum, de dum, de dum, de dum, de dum, da da dum…
da da da da dum…

I woke up from naptime,
I was ready to play,
Mommy was alone, Daddy wasn’t home, he had to work all day,

Now I got the play time,
The play-time baby blues (bl-ues),
Yeah, the Mommy she’s real cool,
But sometimes she just won’t do.

da da da da dum…

I woke up at midnight,
Look what someone did,
Encaged and enraged, shocked and dismayed, they made me sleep in my crib,

Now I got the midnight,
The midnight baby blues (bl-ues),
So I cried to my Mommy (come pick me up),
I wanna cuddle with you.

da da da da dum…

I woke up this morning,
I was ready for food,
Looked over to find Mommy by my side with a yum-yum filled boob,

Now I got some yum-yums,
To cure my baby blues (bl-ues),
Yeah, the yum-yums good for my tum-tums (give me some)
To cure my baby blues.

Yeah, I had the baby (baby)
I had the baby blues (bl-ues),
I had the little-baby-‘bout-to-make-my-mommy-go-insane-y blues, blues.

(Written Dec 2008)

 

2014 Newborn twin grin

Twin Grin – Bella and Brooks

Micaela baby and mommy

Mommy and Baby Mica

 

 

 

Warning:  Yum-Yum (breast-feeding) Photo ahead:

 

 

 

breast-feeding twins 23 months 1

23 months (almost at the 2-year marker)!

 

4. An Evening Adventure

It was still Thursday, June 2, 2016

mud twins

An Evening Adventure:

I was out or low on all but cereal so I decided not to forfeit the voucher, opting instead to venture out to the grocery store.  I rarely take the twins shopping with me if I’m going WIC shopping – way too stressful.  I also didn’t look forward to rush-hour traffic or the crowded store at 5:20pm, but I decided to look at it as an adventure.  I loaded everyone up, but again, Bella objected to me strapping her in.  “I do it, Bella do it!”  I stood there and waited to let her try until finally she said, “Halp, mommy, halp Bella do it!”  So I helped her do it then I got in the car and buckled up.

Out of nowhere it started to pour rain.  I felt anxiety brewing along with the storm.  I looked back at the kids.  “Maybe we should ask daddy to go to the store after he gets home,” I tried to convince them, and myself.  “Aww, I really wanna go!” Mica begged.  On the way, I prayed to God, “Please don’t let this be a disaster.”  The rest of the way I talked to the children about “doing the right thing” and “having good behavior” and listening to and obeying mommy.”

The rain had let up a bit by the time we got to the store but the ground was wet so I carried a baby on each hip and told Mica to hold onto my bookbag as we crossed the parking lot.  Inside, there were no double seated carts so I put brooks in the front (where he’d be less likely to cause any trouble) and Bella in the back of the cart (she’s slightly more advanced in following directions, such as “stay seated”).  I found almost all the items I needed surprisingly quickly.  I just had to get cereal.

Oh, the cereal isle.  You know the cereal isle with kids.  I’ve read the WIC directory thoroughly so I know what’s allowed and what isn’t so I knew exactly what to look for.  But there was a display case that looked quite yummy to Brooksie.  He reached for one box.

It was like watching dominoes in slow motion and I whispered my prayer again:  “Please don’t let this be a disaster, Please don’t let this be a disaster, please don’t let this be a disaster,” as at least 10 boxes crashed into one another and down to the floor.  Mid-fall, I felt the cart move as Bella tried to stand up to catch the falling cereal boxes.  I grabbed her.  There was a lady calmly walking by from the other direction.  I don’t know if she heard me praying, was just a thoughtful and kind person, or was an angel in disguise, but she picked up the boxes with a smile while I held my hyper twins at bay.  Bless her, Lord.

As usual, there were issues at the register, but the manager knew that what I had was allowed, so he over-rode any of the blocks.  He asked if I needed help out to the car.  Yes, please.  By this time it was raining cats and dogs, so I asked the clerk if she’d stay with my groceries while I strapped the kids in and then drive up to put the bags in the car.  We all got drenched getting back in.  And Bella, oh Bella.  I stood there in the rain for a few seconds (I was soaked anyway).  Knowing she couldn’t strap herself and standing in the pouring rain, I strapped her in, much to her screaming objections.  I pulled up to get the groceries and low-and-behold, the rain stopped.

We came home and  I threw together a quick meal and we wound down by watching a movie together.  Amor came home and I was spent!  After he got settled in, I went to my room, leaving bedtime rituals to him.  I took my meds, laid down and turned on the TV.  Mica came in.  She wanted to cuddle.  How could I say no?  I couldn’t.  I told her to go get her “Alex” chapter book from the series I’ve been reading to her.  The words on the last page of the chapter started to get blurry and run together but somehow I made it to the end before drifting off to sleep.

I’d be lying if I said that our life isn’t usually this adventurous.  I never know what the day will bring.  Sometimes, the truth is stranger than fiction.  And sometimes this Bipolar mom feels like she’s either on candid camera, or should have her own reality show, because, boy, would it be entertaining.

Double Talk Quote: “I can’t wear my bathing suit because it still has 5 minutes left in the microwave” – Mica, meant to say washing machine

Bible Verse:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Word that has Lost its meaning: easy

Relatable Lyrics: “Nobody Told Me” by John Lennon

“Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed — most peculiar, mama”

3. An Afternoon Adventure

It was Thursday, June 2, 2016

playing

An Afternoon Adventure:

It was 12pm and the girls were complaining they hadn’t had lunch.  They wanted Taco Bell, which was out of the way of going back home, but I knew a short cut.  We were near my old neighborhood so we took some back roads and the girls got to see two places I used to live, that I often tell them stories about.  They liked that.

The food was hot and messy so I told them to wait to eat until we got home.  Bella was asleep by the time we got there.  I put her to bed and fed the other three.  Hope didn’t seem to be hurting anymore.  She asked for seconds and drank two cups of milk.  After that, the girls went to play while I put Brooks down for a nap.  Just as he dozed off, Bella popped up and we snuck out the room.  Around that same time, Tia arrived, only to seal herself in front of the bathroom mirror to apply makeup.  Tia’s boyfriend showed up around 2:30 but had to wait for Tia to finish getting ready, beautifying herself to go to the pediatrician’s office.  I made casual conversation about their newly announced pregnancy and his new car.  Hope complained that she didn’t need to go to the doctor anymore.  Her ear was all better now and she asked me for more milk.  I poured the last of it in a to-go cup for her as they rushed out the door at about 3:30pm.  I absent-mindedly set the empty carton down, as I held Bella, who’d  been upset when Tia’s boyfriend picked her up her against her will.  Brooks had also woken up amidst all the commotion and I fed him a late lunch and then we all three played for a while.

It was 5pm.  Time to clean the kitchen and start dinner.  As I threw the empty milk carton away, I realized, that was the last of the milk.  “Oh well, We’ll survive ’till tomorrow,” I reasoned to myself, but then it dawned on me:  Today is the 2nd.  “I think I have a WIC voucher that expires today.”  Sure enough, I did.  Use it or lose it.

WIC is short for Women, Infants, and Children.  It is a government program that provides vouchers for very particular food items such as milk, bread, juice, cereal, and eggs.  WIC shopping is not easy.  There may be only five items on the list, but it is very specific about brand and quantities.  If you don’t get exactly what the grocery store scanner passes, the clerk calls the manager, they spend 10 minutes searching for the item in a WIC catalog before either overriding the system or explaining to you why the item you picked out doesn’t meet the WIC criteria.  All this while you have other people with carts full of groceries in line behind you growing impatient and three wiggly kids in front on you begging for the candy gazing at them right at their eye levels.  I am extremely appreciative for the WIC program. I just wish it were a little easier to do.  Or a lot easier…

2. A Mid-day Adventure

It was Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bella car seat cute

A Mid-Day Adventure:

I am very familiar with Hope’s bus schedule and pick-up / drop-off locations, but I’ve only ever actually taken her to school once.  Maybe it was on the next street down.  Nope.  I have a dumb phone, no GPS, so I decided to run back by the house which was just a few streets down.  I ran inside and looked up her school’s location while simultaneously using the bathroom.  The school was just past where I’d been looking.  I grabbed the babies’ shoes and a box of cereal for the kids’ snack (there were juice boxes in the car), and off we went again.

When we finally arrived at Hope’s school, we saw stairs, many stairs, so I nixed the stroller idea and quickly put their little shoes on them.  I asked the only person I saw, a maintenance worker, where the office was.  He pointed me toward a doubtful direction, “I think you can get there through here.”  Holding a tiny hand in each of mine, the twins, Mica and I traversed the stairway and sure enough, the doors were locked.  So we walked around to another stairwell.  This one had a doorbell.  Thank goodness, we’d made it to the office.  “I’m here to pick up my niece, Hope.”  “Oh, I should have told you on the phone, we have two offices.  She’s at the other one on the other end of the campus.  If you get back in your car…”  I stopped her there.  I wasn’t about to go strap everyone back in just to drive to the other side of the building, especially since Bella’s been showing increasing independence, pitching a fit if she can’t strap herself in (and bless her heart, and all our hearts, she just can’t do it yet).  “Can we walk through here?”  I knew there were End Of Grade tests being taken but at this point, we were all pretty exhausted and I figured the chances of us bothering the test-takers were small, since I saw a group of students walking down the hall.  “Okay” the lady replied and pulled a child from the line of students and instructed her to show us the way.

After walking three sets of halls we came to yet another stairwell and this time had to go down.  Brooks decided it would be fun to jump the steps two-by-two while Bella’s dainty little steps kept her high as I tried to balance the two.  It was a good thing I had Mica with me to help hold their hands or we probably would have tumbled down the three flights!  (In reality, I would have had to carry them.)   We rounded the last corner to the  office to find Hope waking up from a nap.  She smiled.  I explained the mix-up to the attendance officer who scolded me for picking Mica up early from her school despite her not being sick.  “Ugh.  First of all, lady, you don’t know what kind of day I’ve had, and it’s only 11:30am.  Second of all, I didn’t know Mica wasn’t sick until after she was checked out and in the car.  Third, If I didn’t take her with me then, I may not be able to pick her up later, in case I have to give Hope and Tia a ride to her doctor, who is in the next town over. And fourth, and finally, she’s helping me with the babies while I pick Hope up, so stay out of my business and stop judging me!” Ok, I didn’t say that out loud, but it was what I was thinking as I took a good brow-beating.

Getting back to the car was a little easier.  We went out the doors and around the building to the parking lot.  Hope and Mica helped me hold the twins’ hands in the parking lot.  As predicted, Miss Bella wanted to buckle herself in, so I let her try while I fastened Brooks’ seatbelt.  I gave Hope some Tylenol and a drink and made sure everyone had a snack and juice.  This calmed Bella enough to let me strap her in with little fuss.

On the way to pick up Tia, I had a feeling she wouldn’t be ready.  I wondered if she’d even made an appointment yet.  I told her a year ago to transfer Hope to a doctor here in town and she still hasn’t done it.  Her doctor is 30 minutes away!  So I called to check on her status.  Sure enough, she hadn’t even showered and told me to take Hope to my house.  Tia’s boyfriend gets off of work at 2pm, he’d pick her up then and they were going to try to take her to a new doctor here in town.  I was relieved I wouldn’t have to drive to the next town with all four kids and wait at the doctors’ office with a bunch of sick kids…

1. A Morning Adventure

It was Thursday, June 2, 2016

school mornings

A Morning Adventure:

I got up early did my devotions and replied to my last blog post’s comments.  Woke up Grandma, took out the trash and did other mommy-related activities.  I did devotions with Hope and Mica and got them off to their schools, fed the twins breakfast took Amor his coffee and spent some alone time with him with the twins played contently in the living room.

I planned to participate in a conference called, “Alternatives To Spanking,” which started at 10:45 am.  (Spanking tends to be Amor’s go-to tactic for dealing with discipline issues and I’ve been trying to encourage him to try other forms of discipline such as redirecting and/or using “time-outs” instead – I could go on, but that’s a whole other blog post).

As I was getting myself ready my cell phone rang.  I was busy and didn’t recognize the number so I let it go to voicemail (but they didn’t leave a message).  It was about 10 am and I wanted to wait until the last minute to finish getting the twins dressed and re-diapered so they’d be fresh when we arrived at the conference.  So I laid down with them for what I thought would be about 10 minutes of peaceful cuddle time of watching Curious George.

I heard the home phone ring.  With both babes on top of me I knew I’d never reach it before it went to voicemail and besides, that’s grandma’s phone and I don’t give that number out as mine, so I usually only answer it if it rings more than once in a row; that usually means one of my family members is calling me.  It rang again.  I quickly put the twins down and ran to grab the phone.  The reception was horrible and with the TV in the background I didn’t catch the first part of what the caller said, but I heard the word “school.”  “Excuse me?” I replied.  The caller said, “Your daughter’s left ear is hurting her.  She’s screaming she’s in so much pain, please come pick her up.”

I jumped into action:  grabbed my cell phone and while collecting the babies’ bag, some Tylenol and a soda chaser, and my purse. I also quickly called Mica’s doctor and made a sick appointment for 11:20.  I rushed out the door, carrying the babes to the car with saggy diapers and no shoes.  I quickly loaded the stroller and arrived at my daughter’s school within 15 minutes of the phone call.  As I strolled the babies toward the office, I saw Mica and her class coming in from recess.  She waved at me.  “Weird”, I thought, seems like she’d be in the nurse’s office.  Oh well, I checked her out with the attendance person and they called her to the office.  As we walked back out to the car, I asked Mica, “So are you feeling better now?”  She seemed confused.  “I’m fine, what’s going on, why did you pick me up early?”  “Your ear doesn’t hurt?”  “huh?  No, I feel fine.”  By this time I was confused.  Already in the car with Mica and Bella and Brooks in tow, it dawned on me:  Hope.  I looked up the number of the call I had missed on my cell phone and call it back.  Sure enough, it was Hope’s school.  “She’s been waiting a long time now.”

As I drove toward Hope’s school, I called Mica’s doctor and canceled her appointment.  They were confused too.  “So you need to bring in your niece?  What kind of insurance does she have?”  It took longer than needed to explain to them that she’s not a patient at their practice, she has her own doctor.  Although I call Hope my “foster niece,” I’m not her legal guardian and dealing with aspects of her medical care is her mother, Tia’s responsibility.  I called her immediately.  She was half-asleep.  When I explained the situation to her she said, “I’ll take a shower and go get her,” in a tired voice.  Tia doesn’t drive.  And she’s notorious for taking hours to get ready for anything.  I imagined her arriving by taxi by the time school was letting out.  “Don’t worry, she needs to be picked up right away.  I’ll go get her and you call her doctor,” I said.

I turned right.  The school should have been on that corner.  It was not….

Upside Down

upside down TP toilet paper

Despite toggling among 6 different psychiatric medications, I still have up and down days.

It was Sunday (the day Satan loves to attack the most) and I got up early to prepare my lesson for the Church’s kid’s ministry.  I felt fine, energetic even.  After reading the lesson plan, I had all kind of supplemental ideas and gathered the material I’d need for it along with everything else I’d have to take to church that morning.

But then, seemingly out of nowhere, I started feeling tired.  At the same time, the babies started to wake up.  I went and laid down to cuddle them.  For some reason, tears started pouring out of my eyes.  I didn’t feel sad, just heavy and tired and overwhelmed.  My back was hurting too.  So, after much mental debate, (and the realization that I was running out of time), I sent a message to let the church know I wouldn’t be able to make it.  I needed a “down day.”  Amor and Grandma took care of the kids all morning until around nap time.

The last time I was this “sick” (Ok, yes, let’s call it like it is – “depressed”), I had come out of it only to find myself extremely frustrated by the house being upside down and things not having been done “my way.”  I was angry at Amor for not doing things more thoroughly, but mostly I was mad at myself for not being able to handle it all.  I thought about that.  

I was so down, though and isolating, that I didn’t want to get up to go to the bathroom or leave the comfort of my room to grab a soda.  I kept the babies in my room watching Curious George II from about 3 – 5:30pm.  Their sweetness brightened me, but I was still very tired.  So I sent them outside with Amor.  Grandma was in her room.  I hurriedly threw pizzas in the oven and microwaved veggies and set them up for dinner.  I did my nightly “side work” and went to bed at 6:45pm.

I woke up at 6:45am in a rush to do devotions with Mica and Hope and get them ready for school only to discover the following:  

  • Kitchen table with yesterday’s dinner not put away, covered in ants
  • Cat vomit on the floor
  • Dishes piled up in the sink
  • Toothpaste still on the toddlers’ toothbrushes (they hadn’t brushed day or night)
  • Crackers smushed into the carpet that I’d just vacuumed
  • Every trash can in the house full to the brim
  • Pointy toys littered the floor, out of place, just begging to be stepped on
  • (later:  daughter and neighbor T.P.ed the backyard!)

I shook it all off and tried to stay calm about it, but Amor sensed my irritation.  I had an appointment with my therapist but no one to watch the babies.  I really needed to get to that session!  I contacted six people before I finally got something worked out (Grandma and Mica to the rescue)!   

I spent some time turning the house right-side up again.  And it feels good for me to be right-side up again today, even though I’m still struggling.  At least I’ve got my family and they’ve got my back, and that’s what really matters.  And God’s got this.  I know.

(Written Monday 6/6/16, Twins 23 months, Mica 8, Hope 7)

upside down - Mommy Belle, Bella Brooks

Double Talk Quote: “Oh my goodness, this place is upside-down” – Amor upon coming home early to a bit of mess (ok, a lot of a mess) in the living room.  6/10/16

Bible Verse: ”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Ephesians 6:12

Term that has Lost its meaning: sick leave

Relatable Lyrics: “Upside Down” by Jack Johnson

“Who’s to say
I can’t do everything
Well I can try
And as I roll along I begin to find
Things aren’t always just what they seem
I want to turn the whole thing upside down.”

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